The Arizona Senate Appropriations Committee with hear SB1440, the Mining & Mineral Museum Transfer bill, at a meeting starting at 2 PM, Tuesday, February 16, in Senate Hearing Room 109.
During a hearing in the Government Committee last week, committee members repeatedly quizzed the lobbyist for the Arizona Historical Society about whether there are any plans or intent to re-open the museum. Lobbyist Jim Norton finally explained that unless AHS was given specific direction and funding, they had no plans on opening the museum, which has been closed since 2011.
AHS receives state funding to cover the rent of the building and for one curator. In addition, fees from the Centennial License Plate fund go to AHS for developing the museum. Comments by Jim Norton implied they have received at least $750,000 from those fees so far.
SB1440 would transfer the museum and its assets to the Arizona Geological Survey to re-open the facility as the Arizona Mining, Mineral, and Natural History Education Museum.
A similar bill passed the legislature last year but was vetoed by the governor.