I’m a newbie this year to the Governmental Relations committee, which has at its mission to keep an eye on policy issues related to information and medical libraries and librarianship. At this morning’s 7am meeting (ouch!), I learned about a couple of things that should be on our radar:

1) NIH/NLM funding: The base budget for the National Library of Medicine apparently has not been adjusted over the years, despite their taking on additional work such as managing ClinicalTrials.gov. Although many areas of the federal budget are expected to remain flat, Health and Human Services may apparently get an increase, and there is hope that the NLM and NIH may receive budget increases. Management of data submitted to ClinicalTrials.gov data is apparently a growing concern as data from stimulus-funded research starts to come in.

2) FRPAA, or, The Federal Research Public Access Act (HR 5037): This legislation would require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets budgets over $100 million to make resulting manuscripts publicly available, similar to the NIH’s public access policy. See this May 2010 fact sheet[PDF] from MLA for more information.

The committee is also coordinating Capitol Hill Day activities focused around communicating with legislators about the issues above – if you speak to your legislators or their staff about them, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!