Advocacy Alert – January 12, 2024
In this Alliance Advocacy Alert:
- Register Now: Museums Advocacy Day 2024 Registration Closes January 19!
- Take Action: Contact Congress in Support of OMS Funding
- Final NAGPRA Rule: Webinars and Guidance
Register Now: Museums Advocacy Day 2024 Registration Closes January 19!
This February, advocates from across the nation will unite their voices at Museums Advocacy Day 2024 to speak up for museums. Will you be with them on Capitol Hill?
For over 15 years, Museums Advocacy Day has mobilized museum advocates nationwide to help ensure we reach every member of Congress with our message that museums are worthy of federal support and are essential to communities. As part of this unique event, you can share your and your museum’s story and urge your members of Congress to provide critical support for museums in 2024 and beyond.
Stakes will be high this election year, and we must continue to share our data and stories if we are to secure continued and future support for museums from Congress. Don’t miss this powerful opportunity to combine our collective voices to share the unique value of museums of all types and sizes across the country. Your participation matters!
Each year Museums Advocacy Day brings together museum professionals, CEOs and directors, independent professionals, students, and advocates who work for and with the museum field – at any stage of their career and in any role at their museum – to make our voices heard with legislators and their staff. Museum board members and trustees are also highly encouraged to participate.
Contact Congress in Support of FY 2024 Funding for Museums
On Jan. 7 House and Senate Congressional leaders announced a bipartisan, bicameral deal on total defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding levels for fiscal year (FY) 2024. (Although House GOP conservatives are pushing Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA-04) to scrap that deal.) The NDD level is almost the same as the FY 2023 level, which means an increase for one program requires an offsetting cut for another, and there’s no promise that every program gets the same funding they received for FY 2023. A stopgap measure enacted in November is maintaining funding at FY 2023 levels through Jan. 19 for four of the twelve annual appropriations bills and through Feb. 2 for the remaining eight bills. While the agreement, if it holds, reduces the chances of a federal government shutdown, Congress still has a lot of work to do to negotiate final appropriations details for FY 2024, which began on October 1. In the meantime, another short term stopgap measure will likely be required to finish the work.
Take Action Now! As the House and Senate work to resolve FY 2024 program spending details, it’s critical to keep urging your legislators to support at least $55.5 million for the Office of Museum Services (OMS).
So far, a House appropriations subcommittee approved a bill that, if enacted, would provide funding level with FY 2023 of $55.5 million for OMS, while the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would cut FY 2024 funding for OMS by $3.25 million. (For additional appropriations details, see the August 4 Alliance Advocacy Alert.) The House began, but did not complete, debating the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill, which funds OMS. Thanks to your ongoing advocacy, no amendments seeking to cut or eliminate IMLS/OMS were offered.
Final NAGPRA Rule Webinars and Guidance
On December 13 the Interior Department issued in the Federal Register its final rule to revise regulations that implement the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The rule regulates returning Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony to lineal descendants, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs). It also seeks to streamline requirements for museums and federal agencies to inventory and identify Native American human remains and cultural items in their collections. The rule is effective January 12, 2024. The National NAGPRA program is hosting a series of webinars and providing additional guidance:
National NAGPRA Program Webinars: The National NAGPRA Program will host a series of 10 webinars on the new regulations on the third Friday of every month from 1-2:30 pm ET. Registration is required, but the meeting information is always the same. Register once to attend any session. Mark your calendars and bring your questions.
National NAGPRA Program Website: Updates to the National NAGPRA Program website, including new templates and guidance, will publish on Friday, January 12. Join Melanie O’Brien for a tour of the changes and new documents on January 12 at 2:15 pm ET. Registration is not required and all are welcome to join the webinar (Meeting ID: 161 974 9131, Passcode: 168411).
Your steadfast advocacy efforts make a critical difference in building needed support for museums and museum professionals.
Looking for more advocacy tools and resources? Visit the Advocacy section of our newly-updated Resource Library today! Also see AAM’s Trustee Resource Center to learn more about engaging your board in advocacy for museums.
Visit http://www.aam-us.org/advocacy to learn more about AAM’s advocacy for museums.