Sen. Gail Griffin has reintroduced her bill, SB1440, to transfer the former Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum in Phoenix, rom the Arizona Historical Society to AZGS to be re-opened as the Arizona Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resources Education Museum. The bill is essentially the same as the version that passed last year in the Legislature, 25-0 in the Senate, and 58-2 in the House. Governor Ducey vetoed that bill.
The museum was transferred from the Dept. of Mines & Minerals Resources (DMMR) to the Historical Society in 2010 in anticipation of converting it to the Arizona Experience museum for the 2012 Arizona Centennial, but funds were not raised. The museum shut down in 2011 and has been vacant and closed since then. DMMR was merged into AZGS in 2011.
Fans and advocates of the old museum have campaigned relentlessly to have it reopened. The new museum would have a dramatically expanded mission, adding agriculture, livestock, forestry, and education to its portfolio. SB1440 would transfer an unstated amount of funds for the rent, plus one curator position. Additional funds would come from the fees paid for centennial license plates.
The bill faces an additional complication this time, since Gov. Ducey is proposing that AZGS's duties be transferred to the University of Arizona.