Advocacy Priorities

Advocacy Positions with the Alaska State Legislature 2016 Session (FY 2017)

The statewide Alaska Historical Society representing over 450 individuals and 80 museums, local historical societies, and cultural centers partners with the State of Alaska’s historical and cultural heritage programs.  The State Libraries Archives and Museums and the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology provide important services to Alaskans.  The Alaska Historical Society has established its advocacy agenda for these agencies and asks the members of the 2016 Alaska State Legislature to consider them.

Operating Budget

  • Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund Match

              Governor’s budget: $435,200                                                AHS advocacy position: $448,700

We ask the Alaska State Legislature to restore the $13,500 General Fund Match reduction from the FY 2016 appropriation.  The GFM funds match a federal Historic Preservation Fund grant that reimburses the state 60% of its expenditures for historic preservation programs.  (The 60% match is $20,250, adding the $13,500 reduction makes the cut $33,750).  Only 17% of the OHA budget is GFM, the remainder is “other funds.”  The state’s historic preservation program is the foundation of the state’s history and archaeology programs and leverages other non-GF funds.  The GFM reduction for the current fiscal year is $38,100 GFM, federal match lost is $57,150, for a total cut of $95,250.

  • Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund/ Program Receipts, Alaska Historical Commission

               Governor’s budget: $15,800                                      AHS advocacy position: $15,800

We ask the Alaska State Legislature to support the Governor’s request.  The Governor-appointed citizen’s board determines the projects related to Alaska history of value to the citizens of the state.

  • Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (DEED) – General Fund

              Governor’s budget: $12,122,300                               AHS advocacy position: $12,122,300

We ask the Alaska State Legislature to endorse the Governor’s request for the State Library, Alaska Historical Collections, State Archives, State Museum and Sheldon Jackson Museum.  The funds allow for the preservation of written records, photographs, maps, and objects, and for access to them.  The division provides services statewide.  The library works with 100 public, 300 school, and numerous special and tribal libraries throughout the state.  The archives offers technical support and consultation to assist over 150 entities with archival holdings.  The museums help more than 80 museums and cultural centers around the state.

  • Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (DEED) – Museum Grants in Aid

            Governor’s budget:  $105,600                                   AHS advocacy position: $150,000

We ask the Alaska State Legislature to consider an increase in the budget for this program.  The project grants allow museums and historical societies across the state to improve their collections care and programs.  The funding has been static in recent years, and as there are more than eighty museums and cultural centers active around the state there is need for increased funding.

Capital Budget

  • Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund Match

             Governor’s budget: $150,000                                                AHS advocacy position: $150,000

 We urge the Alaska State Legislature to retain this appropriation.  The funds, combined with the operating budget General Fund Match funds, provide the required match for the state to bring in the federal Historic Preservation Fund grant appropriated to Alaska. The funds are for the core State Historic Preservation Office programs and for carrying out the Alaska State Historic Preservation Act (AS 41.35) responsibilities to protect significant cultural resources on state lands. 

  • National History Day & We the People funding       AHS position: $50,000

We ask the Alaska State Legislature for funding for these two programs.  Alaska secondary education students have participated in We the People and National History Day national contests for over fifteen years.  These programs have local, state and national competitions, similar to Science Fair and the Spelling Bee.  Students pay their own travel expenses.  Several capital budgets have included a small appropriation for a state contest and coordination of the We the People program in Fairbanks.  Reliable annual funding is needed for these excellent programs and would help expand them to students throughout the state.

Legislation

  • Museum construction matching grant program          AHS position:  support legislation

We ask the Alaska State Legislature to pass this legislation.  HB 52 and its companion SB 61 would be an investment in Alaska communities.  The legislation will help provide for museum buildings and cultural centers to ensure the safety and conservation of Alaska’s artifacts, photographs and manuscripts significant to understanding the state’s heritage.  The facilities will improve the presentation of that history to the public and increase educational opportunities for all Alaskans.

2015 Advocacy Priorities

 Operating Budget

  • Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund Match

Governor’s budget: $482,700                                     AHS advocacy position: $482,700

We support the Governor’s request for state matching funds to the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (OHA).  These funds are critical for eligibility to receive the annual federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant.  The state and federal funds support the small but effective office in its efforts to preserve and protect Alaska’s historic and prehistoric resources. The core State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) programs of OHA are funded through the federal HPF grant and the state match.

  • Alaska Office of History and Archeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund/ Program Receipts, Alaska Historical Commission

Governor’s budget: $15,700                                       AHS advocacy position: $15,700

We support the Governor’s request.  The Governor-appointed citizen’s board determines the projects related to Alaska history that will be of lasting value to the state and its residents.

  • Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (DEED) – General Fund

Governor’s budget: $12,663,600                                AHS advocacy position: $12,663,600

We support the Governor’s request for the libraries, archives, and museums.  The funds allow for the preservation of written records, photographs, maps, and objects; and access to them.  The division provides services statewide to community libraries, local historical societies, museums, and cultural centers, and municipal governments.

  • Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (DEED) – Museum Grants in Aid

Governor’s budget:  $105,600                                    AHS advocacy position: $150,000

The project grants allow museums and historical societies across the state to improve their collections care and programs.  The funding has been static in recent years, and as there are more than eighty museums and cultural centers active around the state there is need for increased funding.

Capital Budget

  • Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund Match

Governor’s budget: $150,000                                     AHS advocacy position: $150,000

This capital appropriation combined with the operating budget General Fund Match funds provide the required matching funds for the state to bring in the federal Historic Preservation Funds appropriated to Alaska. The funds are for the core State Historic Preservation Office programs and for carrying out the Alaska State Historic Preservation Act (AS 41.35) responsibilities.

  • 150th Anniversary of Purchase of Alaska                    AHS advocacy position: $300,000 (total for 3 years, 2015-17)

Commemorations of significant events are proven economic and educational opportunities for communities.  The change from a Russian to an American possession is a defining moment for Alaska.  The story needs to be revised from that of events at Sitka and Washington, D.C., to one told from multiple perspectives and about the changes the purchase brought to all Alaska.  There were changes to the fur trade, encouragement to look for minerals and develop fisheries, new religious missions, expansion of education, and new ideas about land and about justice.  The Legislature passed SCR 17 last session and funds are needed for the statewide, coordinated commemoration the resolution calls for.

Legislation

  • HP 52: Museum capital improvements                                    AHS position:  support legislation

The proposed legislation is an investment in Alaska communities.  It will help provide for museum buildings and cultural centers to ensure the safety and conservation of Alaska’s artifacts, photographs and manuscripts significant to understanding the state’s heritage.  The facilities will improve the presentation of that history to the public and increase educational opportunities for all Alaskans.

 Other

  • National History Day and We the People – provide funds in Department of Education budget for local and state competitions and coordination                                                                                 AHS position: $50,000

Alaska secondary education students have participated in We the People and National History Day for over fifteen years.  These programs have local, state and national competitions, similar to Science Fair and the Spelling Bee.  Students who participate pay their own travel expenses.  The last few years, the capital budget appropriated funds for coordination for the local and state We the People competitions in Fairbanks.  But yearly funding is needed for these national programs, ideally administered through the social studies unit in the Department of Education.  This would expand these terrific programs to other schools throughout the state.

2014 Advocacy Priorities

Capital budget

  • Secure the final needed funding for the SLAM building project ($37.215 million)
  • Funds to rehabilitate the Stratton Library in Sitka for the state’s Sheldon Jackson Museum

Operating Budget

  • Maintain funding for Libraries, Archives and Museums and Office of History and Archaeology

Other

  • Support new legislation similar to the Library Construction and Major Expansions Matching Grant Program that is specific to museums and cultural centers
  • Work with the Department of Education leadership to bring back a social studies coordinator
  • Gain recognition for the statewide anniversary programs, including the Cold War symposium and the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase

Alaska Historical Society Advocacy Positions with the Alaska State Legislature
2014 Session (FY 2015)

The Alaska Historical Society and our over 450 members wish to express our interests regarding the State of Alaska’s historical and cultural heritage programs.

Operating Budget

  • Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund Match

Governor’s budget: $473,300                                    AHS advocacy position: $473,300

We support the Governor’s request for state matching funds to the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (OHA).  These funds are critical for eligibility to receive the annual federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant.  The state and federal funds support the small but effective office in its efforts to preserve and protect Alaska’s historic and prehistoric resources. The core State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) programs of OHA are funded through the federal HPF grant and the state match.

  • Alaska Office of History and Archeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund/ Program Receipts, Alaska Historical Commission

Governor’s budget allotment: $15,700            AHS advocacy position: $15,700

We support the Governor’s request.  The Governor-appointed citizen’s board determines the projects related to Alaska history that will be of lasting value to the state and its residents.

  • Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (DEED) – General Fund

Governor’s budget allotment: $12,663,600            AHS advocacy position: $12,663,600

We support the Governor’s request for this fiscal year for the libraries, archives, and museums.  The funds allow for the preservation of written records, photographs, maps, and objects; and access to them.  The division provides services statewide to community libraries, local historical societies, museums, and cultural centers, and municipal governments.

  • Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (DEED) – Museum Grants in Aid

Governor’s budget allotment: $105,600            AHS advocacy position: $150,000

The project grants allow museums and historical societies across the state to improve their collections care and programs.  The funding has been static in recent years, and as there are more museums and cultural centers active around the state there is need for increased funding.

Capital Budget

  • Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (DEED) – Library, Museum and Archives building construction (http://lam.alaska.gov/slam)

Governor’s budget allotment: $ 15,000,000                    AHS advocacy position: $37,215,000

The SLAM building project is currently underway. When completed, it will unite the Division in one building and integrate its programs.  The project will make available space in the State Office Building.  If the project is not fully funded this year, construction costs will increase and completion of the project will be delayed and the State Museum will not be open to residents and visitors.  The commitment to completely fund the building is needed this year.

  • Alaska Office of History and Archaeology (DNR/State Parks) – General Fund Match

Governor’s budget: $150,000                                    AHS advocacy position: $150,000

 This capital appropriation combined with the operating budget General Fund Match funds provide the required state matching funds for state to bring in the federal Historic Preservation Funds appropriated to Alaska. The money funds the core State Historic Preservation Office programs and to carry out the Alaska State Historic Preservation Act (AS 41.35) responsibilities.

For more information, please contact:
Alaska Historical Society, P.O. Box 100299, Anchorage, AK  99510-0299
tel: 907.276.1596;   e-mail members@alaskahistoricalsociety.org; web: www.alaskahistoricalsociety.org