Funding for planning and design of the department’s proposed collections storage facility has been placed high on a priority list by a legislative committee.
The Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee placed the $1.5 million funding proposal fourth on their priority list. That places it among the committee’s top priorities and gives it a high chance of inclusion in the final budget.
Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, proposed the funding following a Feb. 5 presentation to the subcommittee by Department of Heritage & Arts Executive Director Jill Love. The department did not request the funding in their presentation because it was not included in Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s budget proposal, but Hinkins made the motion anyway.
In her presentation, Love emphasized the pressing need to protect the historic artifacts and fine art currently stored in less-than-ideal conditions. You can listen to the full presentation and the slide deck can be viewed here or is embedded at the end of the post.
“There is an urgent need to protect our collections and improve working conditions for our employees. As a department we have been mandated by the Legislature to collect, preserve and document, develop, and exhibit historical artifacts and fine art,” Love said. “We are serious about this responsibility, and our staff takes great pride in their work. But we have reached a point where we cannot do this adequately because of current storage conditions.”
All of the priority lists will be forwarded to the Executive Appropriations Committee, which is comprised of House and Senate leaders from both parties. The priority lists carry a lot of weight, although final decisions are made by Executive Appropriations.