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FUNDING FOR TEXAS STATE ARCHIVES AND RECORDS COMMISSION 
Dear Friends and Members of the Association:

Please find a message below from one of our members asking for assistance in lobbying to have sufficient budget for the Texas State Archives and Records Commission to properly preserve official digital documents. Apparently, the welfare of digital records are at risk and the matter has been languishing for a number of years until the recent vote that is looming.

As one of the supporters of the states I made the analogy that if Travis had written his letter 10 years ago in a digital format it's likely it would no longer exist in Texas.

Please review the note below and help if you are able.

Best wishes, Tai

Tai Kreidler
West Texas Historical Assn

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Dear Historical Association members and leaders,

Now is the time for all concerned with Texas future and immediate past to come to the aid of the Texas State Archives and Records Commission (TSLAC). I received an urgent recommendation from a well-versed legislative source that we should QUICKLY muster all supporters to call the offices of Texas Senator Tommy Williams and Representative Jim Pitts and recommend passage of the special budget item pertaining to the need for developing an electronic archive.

Background:

1. As of now, the Texas State Legislature is not providing funds in the appropriations bill that the TSLAC needs for the preservation of electronic records designated as permanent by law or by regulation.
2. This is at least the seventh session that this budgetary request has been deferred, i.e. kicked down the road.
3. We have been losing electronic records since the 1980s with the situation being so bad that we do not know the totality of what is irretrievably lost or what is at risk. But, we know that the records include databases, e-mails, and reports submitted digitally. And, we know that all oil and gas reports are all now electronic. The situation is so bad, that the State Archives cannot receive the legislative archives electronically.
4. Edmund Burke taught us that it is governments duty to preserve national monuments. Texas PERMANENT electronic records are monuments to our State and to our era and the State Legislature should ensure their preservation.

Please call the following numbers: Mr. Rob Orr, at 512-463-0370, who is the liaison for Texas Senator and Finance Committee Chair Tommy Williams, and
Ms. Brady Vaughn, at 512-463-1096, who is the liaison for Texas Representative and Appropriations Chair, Jim Pitt on the House side.

Follow the protocol below:

1. State your name, residence, and the organization that you represent.

2. Ask to speak with the given representative or their legislative and budgetary liaison.

3. Then tell that individual that: State agencies are creating records in electronic formats that must be retained permanently for legal, administrative and historical reasons. Right now, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has no means of transferring and preserving these records. TSLAC needs the exceptional item funding of $450,000 for the biennium to begin developing a digital archive in order to transfer, manage, preserve and provide access to those records in accordance with state law.

4. Thank them for their time and kindly ask that your comments be passed along the representatives on the budget conference committee for their consideration.

Thank you for your assistance and for your prompt action in regard to these important matters.


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