The original budget bill zeroed out the AZGS budget as of June 30 and authorized the University of Arizona to establish a Geological Survey there. No physical or financial assets were included nor transfer of any staff.
The amendments now authorize those transfers and direct UA to maintain the level of services and products currently provided by AZGS.
The former Mining and Mineral Museum is also transferred to AZGS and will come with us to UA.
Here is the Senate's summary of the key requirements and changes:
Arizona Geological Survey
1. Transfers the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) to the University of Arizona.
2. Transfers from the AZGS to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) the Oil and Gas Commission (Commission), including all funds, personnel and property.
3. Requires ADEQ to appoint a person with a background in oil and gas conservation to administer and enforce Commission laws.
4. Requires ADEQ to use Commission fees to prepare, reproduce and distribute conservation publications.
5. Transfers authority over the State Geologist and AZGS from the Governor to the Arizona Board of Regents.
6. Removes the requirement that the State Geologist must be registered by the Board of Technical Registration.
7. Removes the requirement that the AZGS must maintain a central repository for rock cores, well cuttings and samples.
8. Transfers from the Arizona Historical Society to the AZGS administration of the Mining, Mineral and Natural Resources Educational Museum (Mining Museum).
9. Transfers $428, 300 and one full time employee from the Arizona Historical Society to the AZGS.
10. Requires the Arizona Historical Society to fulfill existing Mining Museum obligations, provide AZGS with a list of inventory and assist in the transfer of the inventory.
11. Stipulates that the Arizona Historical Society regains authority of the Mining Museum if the Museum is unopened by July 1, 2018.
12. Allows the State Geologist, in administration of the Mining Museum, to:
a) promote the recognition of the historical, cultural, economic and social contributions made by the mining, mineral, natural resources, livestock and agricultural industries;
b) apply for and accept grants, gifts, donations or other contributions for use in accordance with the direction of the donor or as prescribed by the AZGS;
c) accept restricted and unrestricted monies from federal, state or local governments;
d) establish and collect entrance fees;
e) operate a retail gift shop;
f) employ a curator with knowledge or experience in natural resources and museum operation;
g) accept and oversee volunteers services; and
h) pay maintenance and operation expenses.
13. Requires the AZGS to:
a) operate and maintain a Mining Museum as the state depository for collecting, cataloging and displaying mining, mineral and natural resources artifacts and specimens;
b) adopt a collections management policy that is consistent with national standards and best practices for museums;
c) maintain the items, artifacts and other inventory received for display or storage; and
d) coordinate with the Mining Museum Advisory Council.
14. Requires the State Geologist to submit a report of Mining Museum operations, General Fund needs, benefits of expanded building use and excess inventory recommendations to the Governor, Secretary of State, Senate President and House Speaker before 2019.
15. Transfers to AZGS all unspent and unencumbered funds received by the Arizona Historical Society for Mining Museum operations.
16. Transfers, from the Arizona Historical Society to the AZGS retroactive to May 1, 2016, all unencumbered balances and future revenues of the Centennial Special Plate Fund.
17. Establishes the Mining Museum Account within the AZGS Fund to be used exclusively for the maintenance operations of the Mining Museum.
18. Reconstructs the Mining Museum Advisory Council to consist of the following members:
a) Executive Director of the Historical Society;
b) State Geologist;
c) two members representing livestock industry;
d) two member representing mining industry;
e) two members representing agriculture industry;
f) two members representing tourism and other climate-related industries;
g) two members representing specialty crops industry;
h) one member who is a natural resources education professional;
i) one member representing a natural resources foundation; and
j) two public members;
k) one member appointed by the House Speaker; and
l) one member appointed by the Senate President.
19. States the legislature’s intent that the AZGS maintain the current level of service and approximately fifteen full time employees.
40. Makes technical and conforming changes.
41. Makes bill provisions retroactive to July 1, 2016.
Amendments Adopted by Committee of the Whole
1. Transfers authority over the State Geologist and AZGS from the Governor to the Arizona Board of Regents.
2. Removes the requirement that the State Geologist must be registered by the Board of Technical Registration.
3. Removes the requirement that the AZGS must maintain a central repository for rock cores, well cuttings and samples.
4. Transfers administration of the Mining Museum to AZGS.
5. Outlines obligations of the Arizona Historical Society in Mining Museum transition.
6. Stipulates authority and duties of the AZGS and State Geologist in administration of the Mining Museum.
7. Outlines membership of the Mining Museum Advisory Council.