Senate approves consolidation of Mines & Mineral Resources department with AZGS
The Arizona State Senate approved their FY12 budget yesterday and separately approved the consolidation of the Arizona Dept. of Mines & Mineral Resources with AZGS.
These now go to the House for their action. There are big differences between the Senate budget and the Governor's but not regarding the AZGS budget. Both budgets propose transferring $100K from what would have been ADMMR's FY12 budget, to use to scan and digitize their mining files and put them online for free downloading.
SB1615 is the agency consolidation bill and includes moving ADMMR's mission statement, authorizing language, and confidentiality provision into the AZGS statutes. I've been working with Legislative staff for the past two weeks in crafting this to avoid duplication, and eliminate possible contradictory provisions.
So, while there are still big budget battles to resolve in the state, it appears all parties are pretty much in agreement on the AZGS budget and the consolidation.
In late January, ADMMR ran out of money and shut down. AZGS took temporary custody of their facilities and files and hired most of the staff. The office is now operating as the Phoenix branch of the AZGS and continues to provide the core services and access to files as before.