According to reports, nearly half the Minnesota Historical Society staff might be laid off or see their hours cut this summer. State funding cuts of about $2.8 million in each of the next two years – along with what will most likely be a 2 million dollar per year drop in charitable giving, book sales and admissions revenue will motivate the cuts.
The following lay-off and cutback numbers could very well be what will happen, and it isn’t good for genealogy and local history.
• Forty site managers, curators and other full-time employees may join 54 part-timers possibly losing their jobs on July 1.
• An additional 223 employees may have their hours reduced, meaning 46 percent of the 683-member staff – 317 people – will be affected as the budget goes down 16 percent in the next two years.
• Three of the state’s 26 historic sites – Forestville near Preston, the North West Company Fur Post in Pine City and the Charles Lindbergh house in Little Falls – will close at the end of June, while Fort Snelling would be open five days a week instead of seven.
Note that this isn’t totally decided, but as of today, it’s not looking good.