The following update has been provided by the Michigan Genealogical Council:
This is just a brief e-mail to bring everyone up to date on the events of the past few days regarding the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries (HAL), the Executive Order, the Library of Michigan, two resolutions, one originating in the Senate and the other in the House.
Wednesday, the Governor issued Executive Directive 5. This was supposed to clarify her Executive Order of July 13. As far as the Genealogical Collection at the Library of Michigan is concerned, this changed NOTHING. The collection is still subject to being transferred and spread out over several different institutions. While re-affirming interlibrary loan, this clarification does not restore interlibrary loan to the Michigan Collection or the Library of Michigan.
Wednesday the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism recommended the passage of SB 503-527 which was a package of bills sponsored by several different senators placing the administration of HAL under the Department of State, rather than spreading it across several state departments – Education, Natural Resources, etc… In addition, there was a Senate Concurrent Resolution 18, to disapprove of the Executive Order 2009-36 dissolving the HAL. Each item in the bill package and the Resolution was approved by a 3 to 1 vote with one absent to be sent to the Senate for a full vote.
Thursday, the full Senate voted on the items described above, the most complete article we have come across so far is in the Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20090827/NEWS15/90827027/1322/Senate-rejects-Granholm-s-plan-to-abolish-history-department. An earlier e-mail list had one vote different. The final tally according the Free Press report and reports from the Associated Press, which has appeared on several newspaper and broadcast websites is 22 yeas, 13 nays, and 2 not voting. Of special note, two Democratic Senators voted with the majority of the Senators to make this possible.
There is also a resolution in the House, introduced by Rep. Rick Jones – who spoke at our rally on August 5. He has several co-sponsors from each party. While this resolution does not carry the force of law, its passage would send the Governor a strong message of disapproval.
Thank you to all who wrote a letter, visited their legislator, sent an e-mail or made a phone call. There is still much to be done, we still need to urge our Representatives to vote in favor of the Senate Concurrent Resolution. We also favor the Senate Bill package that would place all of the parts of HAL under the Secretary of State, because they have all worked well together in the nine years HAL has been in existence, especially the Library and Archives, the best example being www.seekingmichigan.org. The vote in the House of Representatives will be much more difficult than the Senate. We still have much work to do!
Don’t forget our annual Workshop at the Library of Michigan on September 19. The schedule and registration form is available at http://mimgc.org/pdf/2009MGCSeminar.pdf
Thank you again for your help, we could not have done it without you,
Tom Koselka, Corresponding Secretary
Michigan Genealogical Council