Saturday, September 14, 2013



(Sacramento)  AB 482, a bill to improve the cost effectiveness of the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) and to fund museums through the sale of a Snoopy license plate, was passed by the State Legislature today and sent to the Governor.

“Museums need financial support to remain viable and to keep entry fees affordable for all Californians,” says Atkins.  “Snoopy is a beloved American icon and having his ‘endorsement’ is sure to increase sales of the license plate.  I am excited about partnering with him in support of preserving California’s cultural treasures.”

The CCHE was established at the California State Library in 2003.  Since then, it has provided $122 million in grants to not-for-profit groups, government entities, and Native American tribes from funds generated by voter-approved Proposition 40.  These grants have supported the acquisition, restoration, preservation, and interpretation of our state’s historical and cultural resources. Due to dwindling Prop 40 funds, CCHE’s activities and staff face significant reductions and a winding down of the grant program.

Under AB 482, which is sponsored by the California Association of Museums, the CCHE would move over to the Natural Resources Agency where efficiencies can be implemented, with savings to the state of approximately $30,000 per year.

At the same time, a permanent source of funding for CCHE’s programs became possible when the widow of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz offered the rights to Snoopy’s likeness for a license plate that would raise funds for museums.  AB 482 authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to offer the Snoopy plate, which, like all specialty license plates would cost $50, plus another $48 if motorists want their plate personalized .  If the bill passes and is signed into law, DMV will be able to accept requests for the new plate.  They require at least 7,500 prepaid requests before starting production.  The California Association of Museums has already received more than 9,200 pledges from Californians who say they will purchase the plate once it is available.  The proceeds from the plate will be distributed through a competitive grant process.  All museums will be eligible.

Governor Brown has until October 13 to sign or veto the measure.

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