In late 2004, the E-rate program hit a major road block when the Federal Communications Commission determined for the first time that it was subject to the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA), resulting in a delay in commitments of E-rate funds for a matter of months. Since that time, Congress has passed a number of temporary exemptions to ensure that funds keep flowing.
For a program that helps libraries to meet the ongoing costs of connectivity and access to the Internet, any delay in commitments and/or funding can mean major hardship in the provision of vital services. ALA has continually pushed for a permanent solution to the ADA problem.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution containing another ADA exemption for E-rate, this one through December 2007. Another Senate bill that would provide permanent exemption from ADA for the E-rate program is in the works, and a House bill seeking permanent exemption has already been introduced by Representative Barbara Cubin (R-WY).
We will need your support as this legislation moves forward. Stay tuned!