Yesterday Governor Sanford vetoed the Board’s entire $25.2 million General Fund appropriation for the Budget and Control Board for next year. This section of the budget includes the entire General Fund operating budget for the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. If this veto is not overridden, the museum will have to cease operations. In his veto message to the General Assembly, the Governor stated that he was taking this action because the “Board has sufficient carry-forward and other funds to maintain its operations in this fiscal year.” This is not correct. There are not sufficient funds to make up the $25.2 General Fund cut to the Board, which includes $765,000 for the museum. This veto represents the greatest threat the museum has faced in our 114 years of existence. If this veto is not overridden we will no longer be able to preserve South Carolina’s proud military legacy.The General Fund pays for our entire operating costs such as staff salaries and utilities. We’ve already endured five budget cuts in recent years and operate frugally. Ticket and gift shop revenues are modest and will not sustain our operations. While we have just launched a new membership program, these efforts take many years to bear fruit. Almost every museum and cultural institution in the country relies on public funds to keep its doors open.If this veto is sustained, we don’t know what would happen to our artifact and archival collection valued in the tens of millions of dollars. I do know it would be a grave concern to the thousands of families who entrusted their irreplaceable artifacts to the museum and the State of South Carolina. It will require a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate to override the Governor’s veto. Please share this message with anyone you know who is interested in preserving our state’s rich heritage.Fast facts about the museum:· 1896 - Founded ·
2004 – Nationally accredited by the Association of American Museums·
2006 - A national award for Write from the Front that collects photographs & emails from SC servicemen and women serving in the War on Terror. ·
2007 - Museum expanded, opening a large, second gallery and major exhibit, Forgotten Stories: South Carolina Fights the Great War·
2008 - Awarded the South Carolina Council for the Social Studies’ Program of Excellence award. 2002 – 2009 Seven straight years of increasing attendance with April 2010 a record month!
Attendance has doubled since 2004 and will grow again in 2010W. Allen Roberson, DirectorSC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum301 Gervais StreetColumbia, SC firstname.lastname@example.org: 803 737-8096c: 803 315-4472fax: 803 737-8099