The CTA Government Affairs Committee is posting the following information adapted from the recent Support Texas Archeology & History Research newsletter:
Support the Texas Historical Commission
When the 82nd Legislature began almost two years ago, the overall budget shortfall was about 15%. However, the Texas Historical Commission faced a 71% reduction in their budget – carrying far more of the load than their fair share. All programs suffered cutbacks with extensive loss of operating personnel. For the past two years, the agency has withstood a budget reduction of nearly 50 pecent and the elimination of 47 employees.
This summer, the Governor began the budget drafting process by mandating the THC produce an L.A.R. budget to outline an additional 10% reduction in their budget. In order to further reduce budget, significant loss of programs may be required. This will have a serious negative effect on the THC’s ability to provide the fundamental programs necessary to preserve and protect our historical and archeological assets. Many programs that are extremely important to local economies will be in jeopardy from further budget cuts; such as the Main Street program, Courthouse Preservation, the Regional Trails Program, and others. Many small, rural communities rely on tourism for a significant portion of their economy and will suffer far greater impact from loss of these programs than major metropolitan areas.
The good news is that the Legislative Budget Board’s recently published budget does not eliminate the agency’s operating budget as expected (see here). However, it is alarming that the proposed LBB budget remains flat and even retracts in places. The legislative session is underway and we need to remain alert. The Government Affairs committee is monitoring bills that are being filed and will keep the membership informed of any concerns, both here and through the list serve.
Remember, in matters of politics, your vote and your voice do matter. Let your representatives hear from you – often and strongly. Spread the word to your friends and relatives and ask them to support this effort as well. It’s a numbers game to the people we elect – if they hear the same message, often and clear, they WILL understand that it matters to them – because it matters to us. It is important to keep your communications with these busy people direct and on point. Avoid combining other unrelated issues.
In order to keep the message clear and effective, we strongly recommend something like the following simplified message:
“The Texas Historical Commission provides a fundamental service to ALL Texans. Their mission must NOT be jeopardized by further budget and personnel cutbacks. I want the Legislature to RESTORE FUNDING to the 2010 level for the agency during the upcoming biennium.”
Help Locating Your Senator and Representative
To find contact information for your personal Senator or Representative, use the following links that will take you to the official Senate or House website. There you will find telephone, email and mailing addresses:
If you are not sure who is your state representative or senator, use this website: