On Friday, May 29, the Ohio Senate made big budget cuts that once again targeted the Ohio Historical Society. The Senate changes slashed funding for the Society from $13.56 million two years ago to $10 million for Fiscal Year 2010─a 26-percent decrease. This represents the lowest allocation of state funding for the Society since FY 1994.The Senate changes reduced the Society’s Outreach Services (line 509 in the Society’s state budget) from $703,638 to $0 and removed $750,000 in funding for Sites.   What are the consequences?

  • Eliminate teacher training and educational programs that leverage federal funding
  • Eliminate National History Day in Ohio, a national program which originated in Ohio
  • Eliminate the Local History Office that serves 800 local history organizations
  • Eliminate the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015) initiative
  • Eliminate the Ohio Historical Markers program
  • Severely restrict OHS services throughout the state
  • Reduce our ability to generate nonstate revenues (i.e., federal grants, private revenue)
  • Reduce access to historic sites and museums
  • Reduce our ability to recruit local organizations to manage sites
  • Reduce assistance and resources to sites management organizations  

Here’s a link to the OHS web site: http://capwiz.com/ohiohistory/home that will provide you with all the information you need to communicate with your state senator as well as the governor and your state representative.   


Please e-mail and phone your state senator immediately. Their offices count the number of e-mail and phone communications they receive on an issue. If you have time, consider visiting your state senator’s local district office as this would have the biggest impact. If we act together, we can make sure that funding for these important activities is restored. Please forward this e-mail on to friends, colleagues or anyone else that would be willing to help us to protect community-based history programs in Ohio.  

The Ohio Historical Society will be working hard to communicate directly with the members of the Senate Finance Committee and others to change this action, but they also need to hear loud and clear from their constituents. If you’d like more information on this, please feel free to contact Todd Kleismit, our government relations director, at (614) 297-2355 or tkleismit@ohiohistory.org   Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society. With your help, we can let our legislators know that history does matter!

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