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LEgislative Updates

National Issues

American Alliance of Museums Advocacy Alerts

Ask Your Legislators to Include Museums in COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus
The U.S. Congress is currently considering COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief and economic stimulus legislation, and likely will consider additional economic relief proposals in the future.  Your legislators need to hear directly from you that they must include museums in COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus. They also need to hear specifically about how COVID-19 is affecting you and your museum and how your museum is helping impacted communities.  The American Alliance of Museums has a template that you can customize and send to your US Representatives and Senators urging them to make sure that museums are included in COVID-19 relief.

Ask your US Representatives to support increased funding for NARA
Please contact your representatives to join Congressmen John Larson (D-CT), Don Young (R-AK), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) in their “Dear Colleague” letter supporting additional funding in FY2021 for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). NARA’s operating expenses budget in constant dollars has remained stagnant for over a decade, even as its responsibilities have increased.   The request includes at least $395 million for NARA’s operating expenses in FY21 and at least $7 million for the NHPRC. 

State-Wide Issues

Say thank you to the Governor and the Legislators for $2 million in the Arizona Arts Trust

The State Legislature and Governor Doug Ducey have approved an $11.8 billion Fiscal Year 2020 budget that appropriates $2 million for the Arizona Arts Trust from the state General Fund.  This means the Arts Trust will maintain the 33% increase in funding achieved in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget and, instead of dollars derived from the interest on the state Rainy Day Fund, the money will come from the general revenues that support most other critical programs and services for Arizonans.Please send a "thank you" now to the Governor and your legislators, and please consider adding a short personal message about why these dollars are important in your community. Thank you. 

Ask Arizona Legislators to Support SB2551 introduced to fully fund Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund
Senate Bill 2551 has been introduced this session to fully fund ($10 million a year) to the State Parks Heritage Fund. As advocates for historic preservation, parks, open space, non-motorized trails, and outdoor/environmental education, you are encouraged to voice your opinion on SB2551 to your state legislator. 

Background information.  
The Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund was created by voter initiative in 1990, passing with an almost two-to-one vote. A portion of Arizona Lottery proceeds invested in projects throughout our state. Unfortunately, state budget cuts during the Great Recession nearly a decade ago eliminated the State Parks Heritage Fund and the appropriations. During the 2019 legislative session, Senate Bill 1241 passed, restoring the State Parks Heritage Fund in statute, but without any appropriation

What to say to your Legislator
Heritage Fund projects improve the quality of life of Arizonans and drive economic development. These funds are used to create and improve our parks, to provide recreational opportunities statewide, and to reinvest in Arizona's historic sites, downtowns, and neighborhoods.

The return on investment created by a $10 million State Parks Heritage Fund will more than pay for itself. Arizona's local, regional, and state parks and recreation facilities encourage the spending of tourist dollars and the attraction of businesses. Historic preservation initiatives in your community promote economic development by creating jobs, revitalizing historic areas, increasing property values, and promoting heritage tourism. For example, in 2007, the last full year the Heritage Fund existed, the investment created 224 jobs, $3,341,954 in tax revenue, and had a $26,099,170 economic impact.

House Bill (HB2551) to fund the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund has been assigned to the Land and Agriculture Committee, was heard on January 30, 2020 and passed unanimously.  It has now been assigned to the House Appropriations Committee and is on the agenda to be heard this Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 2:00 P.M. in HHR1.

You can communicate your position through the Legislature's Request to Speak (RTS) system or you can call or email the 2020 House Appropriations Committee members directly and let them know you want them to support HB 2551.

Museum Association of Arizona

P.O. Box 63902,
Phoenix, Arizona 85082

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