Monday, April 21, 2008

Legislature funds new archive building in Phoenix, threatens to cut monies for moving artifacts

[Source: Bill Coates, Capitol Times] -- Capitol Museum Curator Brenda McLain is working against the clock - and a state budget deficit - for the big move. Some 8,000 items in storage at the old Capitol are slated for transfer to the new Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building (pictured), 19th Avenue and Madison. Preparations for the fall move began last summer. Artifacts can't just be tossed onto the back of a truck. They have to measured and carefully packed. Their condition and catalog numbers have to be written down, then keyed into a database that tracks museum items using special software. Money to complete the move is in jeopardy, as Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Legislature scramble to find ways to plug budget deficit for the current fiscal year that stands at $1.2 billion and counting.

The $38 million approved to construct the Polly Rosenbaum building originally included moving expenses. The money, however, was appropriated piecemeal over a three-year period. Last year, the Legislature approved the final $8 million to complete the project. In January, the governor's budget office proposed lopping off $3.5 million of that to boost state coffers. The Legislature echoed that in H2857, legislation that called for a state spending freeze. Though that bill drew a veto, it at least showed the governor and lawmakers had agreed on a number when it came to a funding cut. One likely cut would be the estimated $200,000 to $800,000 required for the move, says Michael Braun, executive director of the Legislative Council. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]