LANSING – State Representative Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) reintroduced a bill he sponsored last term that would remove the sunset on school districts establishing a district library. The law allowing local governments, including school districts, to form new district libraries currently prohibits districts from doing so after Jan. 1, 2015. Zemke introduced House Bill 4191 to remove that provision. In 2014, Zemke ushered the same legislation through the House with a 110-0 approval, before it failed to pass the Senate in the final hours of the previous legislature. Zemke intends to get the legislation passed and signed this term.
“Teaching children to read early, and cultivating a love of reading, makes them much more likely to succeed in the classroom and workforce. Furthermore, libraries provide a multitude of resources and serve as a hub for the community,” Zemke said. “We should continue to allow school districts to establish libraries where there’s a need so that students have all the tools they need to thrive.”
The issue is a particular concern for the city of Milan, a portion of which is in Zemke’s district. The city straddles the line between Washtenaw and Monroe counties. Newly-elected Monroe County Representative Jason Sheppard (R-Temperence), whose district also includes the other portion of the city of Milan, is the chief co-sponsor of HB 4191.
“I am pleased to work across the aisle with State Rep. Adam Zemke in removing the sunset on the creation of regional libraries,” Sheppard said. “Residents in Milan and several other communities will be able to pool resources together in order to provide these facilities and services that enhance our neighborhoods.”