|Arizona Senate Appropriations Committee 2/14/2017|
Yesterday, the Arizona Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB1184 by a vote of 9-1 to reinstate AZGS’ annual operating budget of $941,000 for FY 2018. This appropriation is commensurate with state funding received by the AZGS when it was a separate state agency in FY2016. Sponsor Sen. Gail Griffin was there to advise the Committee of the many services that AZGS provides to the state, which would otherwise fall off the table. This bill still has a ways to go in the budget process, but this step was key.
|UA's Tim Bee & Dr. Kimberly Espy testifying before the Senate|
Additionally, SB 1415, which would permanently transfer the Polly Rosenbaum Building and Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum collection to the University of Arizona, was passed 9-0-1 by the Appropriations Committee. UA sent Tim Bee (Senior Associate Vice President for Legislative and Community Relations) and Kimberly Espy (Senior Vice President for Research), to voice their support. Both spoke keenly about UA’s interest in re-establishing a museum in the Polly Rosenbaum Building on the Government Mall on Phoenix.
AZGS Director Phil Pearthree and Assistant Director Randi Bellassai were on the scene in the event that the Committee needed any details regarding the AZGS activities, budget, or staffing. A number of individuals and representatives of various associations registered their support for both bills, and several strong AZGS supporters who attended the meeting were ready to voice their support for SB1184 if needed.