Monthly Archives: February 2013

Update: Transfer Bill Postponed

Due to scheduling issues, the Georgia House postponed its vote on House Bill 287 to Wednesday, Feb. 27.

The bill will transfer the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Records Center from the Secretary of State to the University System of Georgia.

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Archives Transfer Legislation Likely To Pass; Budget Talks Ongoing

House Bill 287,  transferring the Georgia Archives from the Secretary of State to the University System of Georgia, has passed all House committees and is expected to be approved by the full Georgia House of Representatives on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The bill also is expected to pass the Senate.

In the meantime, the struggle for state dollars continues.

The Fiscal Year 2013 Supplemental Budget is headed to a House-Senate conference committee. It is unlikely that additional funds will be allocated to the Archives.

USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby has recommended that the legislature add $448,266 to the Archives budget for Fiscal Year 2014. Gov. Nathan Deal recommended $3,851,428. A total of $4,299,694 would:

  1. Restore fairness to the Archives budget (mitigating the Secretary of State’s $730,000 cut)
  2. Comply with the the governor’s mandated 3% cut for all state agencies
  3. Give the Archives some funds to work with — possibly allowing a few more public hours

The 2013 legislative session is more than half completed.  If you support the Georgia Archives, the time to act is now. Contact your state legislator, as well as members of the House and Senate Higher Education Appropriations subcommittees and the full House and Senate Appropriations Committee members.

Chairmen of these committees are as follows:

  • Rep. Terry England, chairman, House Appropriations Committee
  • Rep. Earl Erhart, chairman, House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee
  • Sen. Jack Hill, chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Sen. Buddy Carter, chairman, Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

Vivian Price Saffold

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University System Wants Archives Budget Increase

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby today recommended that the Georgia Archives receive $448,266 in additional funding in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.

Last month Gov. Nathan Deal recommended that the Archives receive $3,851,428, a 13 percent cut from the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.

In a presentation to the Georgia House of Representatives Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, USG Chancellor Huckaby recommended a total budget of $4,299,694, a three percent cut from 2013.

The figure would cover the cost of adding seven positions and opening to the public four days per week.

The budget request must clear several more hurdles before it becomes reality. The budget must be approved by the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee and the full House Appropriations Committee, as well as  the state Senate.

Archives supporters are urged to contact the following members of the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee:

Chairman Earl Ehrhart, Mike Cheokas, Alex Atwood, Paul Battles, Jon Burns, Rich Golick, Sheila Jones, Randy Nix, Tom Rice, Carl Rogers, Richard H. Smith, Calvin Smyre, Chuck Williams and John P. Yates.

Vivian Price Saffold

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Bill To Transfer Archives to USG Has Been Introduced

If you are interested in reading the bill that transfers the Georgia Archives to the University System of Georgia, you can find it here:

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Happy Birthday, Georgia — The Archives Remembers

“The rest, as they say, is history.”

We hear this statement regularly in every facet of life.

It is a popular phrase, designed to reduce, for the sake of brevity, the relatively recent past to seven words. The inference is that the story is too recent to bear reciting. Since it happened relatively recently, we, in our infinite humanity, figure we will remember without effort.

But, the recent past quickly becomes the distant past. Years flash by, and memories fade. Stories handed down through generations, like the old telephone game, are misremembered resulting in tangled distortions.

If such anomalies can occur in family histories over, say, three or four generations, just think what could happen if we had only oral history to rely on for the history of the state of Georgia.

Tuesday, Feb. 12 will mark 280 years since Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe escorted 114 men, women and children to Yamacraw Bluff, about 20 miles from the mouth of the Savannah River. The contingent had been at sea for more than two months. They had stopped in Charleston while Oglethorpe and soldiers found a place for them to settle in what would become the 13th colony.

What happened to those 114 souls? What hardships did they endure? What kind of government, industries and social structure did they develop?

The questions about Georgia’s rich history literally are endless.

Who was Button Gwinnett? What role did Georgia play in the American Revolution? What was the Yazoo Land Fraud? The convict lease system? What happened to the women who worked in the Roswell Mill?

How did Leo Frank die? What did the governor’s mansion look like in 1932? What did the legislature do in 1955? For what is Alonzo Herndon famous? What crops did your great grandpa grow on his farm in Early County?

How in the world did Georgia get 159 counties?

Of course, you could check any of several online sources, but the information generally is relatively superficial and the source documentation often non-existent. If you wanted to know the whole story, the real story, to see the actual documents, you’d go to the Georgia Archives.

Funding for the Archives has been dwindling for several years. If we don’t take the time to care today, how will future generations learn about what happened in the past?

So the next time you hear the phrase, “and the rest is history,” remember the Georgia Archives. The Archives exists for “the rest,” to be the collective memory of the state of Georgia and its people.

Take time to wish the State of Georgia a Happy Birthday and to tell your state legislature how important the Archives is to you and your fellow Georgians.

Vivian Price Saffold

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