Dear SSA members,
Both the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) are calling upon the archival community to lobby our state and federal legislatures for continued funding of their programs.
TSLAC is seeking funding of its Exceptional Budget Request for its e-records program, that will serve as a much-needed model for archival repositories in the state and that will provide on-going access to records that fall under the Texas Public Information Act or otherwise document our rights, property and heritage.
For TSLAC please call the following numbers: Texas Senator and Finance Committee Chair, Tommy Williams at 512-463-0104, and
Texas Representative and Appropriations Chair, Jim Pitt at 512-463-0516.
Follow the protocol below:
1. State your name, residence, and the organization that you represent.
2. Ask to speak with the given representative or their legislative and budgetary liaison.
3. Then tell that individual that: “State agencies are creating records in electronic formats that must be retained permanently for legal, administrative and historical reasons. Right now, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has no means of transferring and preserving these records. TSLAC needs the exceptional item funding of $450,000 to begin developing a digital archive in order to transfer, manage, preserve and provide access to those records in accordance with state law.”
4. Thank them for their time and kindly ask that your comments be passed along the representatives on the budget conference committee for their consideration.
SSA member Paul Scott’s message copied below contains additional information. (Thank you, Paul, for again sounding the alarm.)
In the White House budget proposed for FY14, funding for the NHPRC has been cut approximately 40%, from almost 5 million dollars to 3 million. The next step is for Congress to accept and/or modify the President’s proposed budget, which will begin with the Financial Services sub-committee, then move to the House Appropriations Committee before a full House vote. Unfortunately, there are no longer any Texans on the Financial Services Sub-committee, but Representative John Culberson is on the House Appropriations Committee. He is a history buff and has been supportive of funding for the NHPRC in the past. I will propose a letter on behalf of SSA, but if you would also like to express support for level funding for the NHPRC, please contact his office at Phone: (713) 682-8828/Fax: (713) 680-8070/Phone: (202) 225-2571/Fax: (202) 225-4381.
From SSA member Paul Scott:
“I am in receipt of an e-mail and the attached letter from Monte Monroe, the Chair of the Texas State Historical Association’s Archives Committee, requesting our assistance in making two key members of the State Legislature aware of the necessity to provide the funds in this biennium’s budget to begin the collection and preservation of electronic records of permanent value. Repeatedly the State Archives has requested this funding, repeatedly the State Legislature has deferred, and it is ready to do so again. Let me emphasize that we should make phone calls as e-mails are easy to ignore. It is appropriate to follow-up with an e-mail, but if you do so, mark it urgent as time is growing short. I thank you for the support you provided on SB 881 and hope that you will also help again.”
SSA President, May 2012-May 2013