TAKE ACTION ON THE 2023-24 PA BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS
June xx, 2023
Dear Senator (Name),
Thank you for your service in Harrisburg representing our district in the Pennsylvania Senate. Our statewide museum association, PA Museums, encouraged us to reach out to you. (YOUR MUSEUM’s mission and two or three sentences describing what you do.)
As you negotiate to finalize the state budget, we urge you to increase the appropriation for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s (PHMC) Cultural and Historical Support Grants program. This program provides vital operating support to over 155 museums, historical societies, and cultural organizations annually. The PHMC’s Cultural and Historical Support grants have been funded at $2 million for the last decade. It is time to increase the level of support we receive from the Commonwealth to continue serving tourists and our community.
Research from the Tourism Office shows that the number of visitors to Pennsylvania is increasing, and the percentage of those visitors coming to experience our cultural offerings has risen to over 40%. Museums play an important role in connecting visitors and residents to our shared history, and voters, 96% of them, both parties included, overwhelmingly approve of public funding for museums according to the American Alliance of Museums.
Will you please support increasing the Cultural and Historical Support Grants line item?
Thank you again,
ABOUT OUR ADVOCACY WORK
PA Museums is the foremost advocate in Pennsylvania for museums and historical organizations. Our advocacy activities focus on state government policy and issues that directly impact our membership. PA Museums will advocate on behalf of our members on the local and federal levels from time to time, and a large part of our advocacy work is sharing information about museums with the broader public.
Our advocacy activities are nonpartisan, and our aim is to educate and inform elected officials and their staff so that Pennsylvania’s museums and historical organizations have the support they need. We invite our members to actively engage their legislators and elected officials regularly in a friendly, professional relationship.
PA Museums will never tell anyone how to vote in an election. We will never tell a legislator how to vote on a specific piece of legislation. We will, however, request support for museums and historical organizations and request our members contact their elected officials to ask them to support particular legislation.
Like a good watchdog, we keep an eye on what Pennsylvania’s lawmakers are doing in education, tourism, and economic development that intersect with museums and historical organizations. Every year we report frequently on the state budget process from its beginnings in February with the Executive Budget to the final budget approved at the end of June. When the House or Senate present alternative plans, we report on these. We pay close attention to the budget’s allocations for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Department of Community and Economic Development.