Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For the Love of History: So Lovely Our State Legislature

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM

From the Arizona Republic's Laurie Roberts on Republican Sen. Gail Griffin sticking it to the Arizona Historical Society:

A routine proposal to extend the life of the Arizona Historical Society for another 10 years has been slashed to two years, a move that the state historian says could be "a death knell" to the agency that operates seven museums around the state.

Marshall Trimble says he's puzzled by why the Legislature would want to stick it to the Historical Society, which collects, preserves and showcases the history of Arizona and the west.

"Our history is one of the most unique and colorful in the entire 50 states," he said. "Our story is so important to the state. We are a place that lives by our legends and our history."

Sen. Gail Griffin, the senator pushing a two-year rather than 10-year extension, says she wants to make sure that the agency corrects longstanding problems identified in a state audit last fall before giving it a longer life.

"I'm on their side," Griffin, R-Hereford, told me. "The issues that were brought up were serious concerns. I just want to make sure those concerns are taken care of."

The audit noted that the Historical Society needs to do a better job fund raising and managing its collection, problems that were also identified in state audits in 1995 and 1998.

Problems that I'm quite sure will be so much easier, now that the agency faces the possibility of extinction in two years.

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