Posted by: wadahp | March 24, 2011

SECOND VERSION OF HERITAGE, ARTS, CULTURE STATE AGENCY MERGER UNVEILED

On Tuesday, State Representatives Darneille, Hunt, Roberts, Billig, Ryu, Jinkins, and Hudgins introduced to the Legislature a new bill that would result in the merging of several existing State agencies and programs into a new Department of Heritage, Arts, and Culture. House Bill (HB) 2033 is closely based on Senate Bill 5768, introduced earlier in the current legislative session by Senators Haugen and Swecker. That bill has since died in legislative committees.

In describing her bill to the Heritage Caucus at their 7:00 am Wednesday meeting, Representative Darneille of Tacoma acknowledged that her intent in sponsoring the bill is to start a conversation in the Legislature about how to secure the future of the State’s heritage and arts agencies. As across state government, these agencies are facing uncertain futures, even closure, arising from the growing budget shortfalls in the 2011-13 budget cycle.

Key differences between HB 2033 and SB 5768 is that 2033 does not include the State Archives (now administered by the Secretary of State) as a component of the new agency. Also, 2033 converts the existing Heritage Center Fund to a new Heritage Fund that would serve to supplement funding for the new department. The Heritage Center Fund was created by the Legislature as an account to hold revenue from a surcharge attached to county document recording fees. Proceeds from the account are now targeted for construction of the proposed Heritage Center on the State Capitol Campus in Olympia that would house a new State Library, exhibits, and offices.

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  1. […] futures, even closure, arising from the growing budget shortfalls in the 2011-13 budget cycle… (WADAHP) (March […]


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