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A09710 Summary:

COSPNSREnglebright, McDonald, Zinerman, Gottfried, Magnarelli, Dickens, Glick, Thiele, Zebrowski, Bronson, Fahy, Lupardo, Durso, Hevesi, Carroll, McMahon, Davila, Angelino, Giglio JM, Cunningham, Pheffer Amato
MLTSPNSRByrnes, McDonough, Simon
Directs the department of economic development, in conjunction with other departments and entities, to conduct a comprehensive study of public and private museums, including taking a census of public and private museums in the state, and to report the findings and recommendations of such study.
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A09710 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Barrett
  TITLE OF BILL: An act in relation to conducting a study of public and private museums in New York state   PURPOSE OF THE BILL: From world class art museums to iconic halls of fame to beloved local historical societies, museums are inextricably linked to New York State's identity, economy and history. Yet museums in New York State lack a true "home" and a clear and viable funding structure. In order to ensure the protection of collections and the sustainability of, and the equitable distribution of funds, this bill directs the Department of Economic Development, in conjunction with the Empire State Development Corporation, the Department of Education, the Office of Parks, Recre- ation and Historic Preservation, the Department of Environmental Conser- vation, the Department of State, and the New York State Council on the Arts to conduct a study of public and private museums in New York State.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: § 1- Directs the Department of Economic Development, in conjunction with the Empire State Development Corporation, the Department of Education, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Depart- ment of Environmental Conservation, the Department of State, and the New York State Council on the Arts to conduct a study of public and private museums in New York State to: - Take a census of public and private museums in the State, including information on the size, hours of operation, visitor statistics, funding sources and amounts, and the subjects of the museums' collections. - Identify the benefits, shortfalls, and consequences of the different sources of support museums receive publicly and privately. - Provide information and recommendations to the legislature about the adequacy of public and private sources of the funding for museums in the State and to serve current and future funding needs, recommend systems of support to best ensure equitable distributions of such funds regard- less of discipline, budget size, or location; and the continued accessi- bility and availability of museums promoting a general interest in cultural and historical topics, fine arts, physical and natural sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and determine the feasibility of a single reporting system with active oversight. § 2- Provides that a report of the findings, recommendations, and any proposed legislation necessary to implement such recommendations shall be filed with the Governor, Temporary President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the Assembly within one year of the effective date of this act. § 3- Effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Although New York's museums contribute greatly to our state's economy and identity - and are vital to telling our stories and protecting our artifacts for generations there is no real "home" for museums in New York State. In the 1950's the State Education Department started char- tering museums, but prior to that, the Legislature and Department of State issued museum charters. Unlike other areas the State Education Department (SED) oversees - libraries, archives and broadcasting - SED provides no financial assistance to museums to help them comply with state regulations and secure their charters. Museums are legally required to report annually to the State Education Department's Cultural Education Chartering Office and the Charities Bureau of the Attorney General's Office, further adding to the fractured oversight of museums. Most people assume the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) funds all museums in New York State. However, NYSCA only funds 10% of the museums in the state and funding is largely to organizations who can interpret their collections through the lens of the arts. In fact, no fewer than a half dozen different State agencies - including the Depart- ment of Economic Development, Empire State Development Corporation, State Education Department, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Department of State - as well as NYSCA - provide funding for New York's museums. These compartmentalized funding streams and guidelines omit science and tech centers, most history museums, children's museums, natural history museums, and most historical societies. New York's museums - from world famous to local history - are economic drivers, community anchors, and tourist destinations in every county of our state. They are repositories for New York State's history, culture, arts, and sciences. They tell the story of the state's evolving ethnic and racial diversity. In 2017, the American Alliance of Museums and Oxford Economics determined the total financial impact that museums have on the economy in New York State to be $5.37 billion, providing over 61,000 jobs, $3.9 billion in income through wages and other revenue to the state's residents and over $482 million in state and local taxes. Unfortunately, the lack of a home and clear funding streams has led to the closing of much-loved museums and, in some cases, the complete loss or severe damage of historical collections. Most recently, 100 years of architectural collections were severely damaged by water and mold while being housed by the Rochester Historical Society in a storage facility. The study proposed in this legislation would not only inform policymak- ing but also form the basis to improve public awareness of the many museums throughout the State. It is not the intention of this legis- lation to take anything, particularly oversight or funding, away from agencies traditionally associated with museums, i.e. New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the State Education Department (SED). However, a holistic evaluation of the ways in which the state currently supports museums in order to create a mechanism for governance and over- sight and an equitable and clear funding system that serves art museums as well as history museums, historic sites, historical societies, ethnic and cultural museums, sports museums, mathematics, engineering and tech- nology museums, physical science and natural science museums, children's museums, nature centers and zoos, botanical gardens, and aquaria, is critically necessary.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Minimal.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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