Funds for the Washington State Heritage Center Raided to Keep Museums Open

The following teaser is from an article by Brad Shannon, published in the May 24, 2011 edition of The Olympian:

In a year like this, what passes for a legislative victory is always couched in what disastrously didn’t happen. So Sen. Karen Fraser had some reason to be pleased today, and some reason to fret.

The operating budget that passed the House swept a cool $8 million from accounts that once were dedicated for a future Heritage Center on the state Capitol Campus. Fraser, a Thurston County Democrat, and Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed were champions of the project.

“Yes I certainly have some mixed feelings about it. The money is going to be used to keep some museums open,” Fraser, the Senate Democratic Caucus chairwoman, said in support of keeping open the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, State Capital Museum in Olympia and a state museum in Spokane.

But the budget also leaves about half of Heritage Center’s fund balance untouched, and Fraser said there is a commitment by leaders to use future general-obligation bonds to help finance the project.

In the meantime, money is also allocated for a study of the General Administration building to see if it is renovation worthy as a future Heritage Center site.

Read the full article.

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