Future of Confederate Relic Room uncertain after budget veto

By Taylor Kearns - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Budget cuts have hit many state funded programs hard. We're talking about health care, public education, and also one of our oldest museums. More than $700,000 set aside for the Confederate Relic Room has been slashed, and that means uncertain times for the museum's future.   

It has survived two world wars and a Great Depression and made it through many uncertain times and countless state budgets, but the future of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum is now uncertain.

"Hopefully we can survive this and keep going on," said Executive Director Allen Roberson.

on Wednesday, the museum's budget -- about $765,000 -- was eliminated when the state House of Representatives upheld a veto by Governor Mark Sanford.

"We've been watching it closely and this is the result," said Roberson. "We're just like everyone else, waiting to see what happens."
Founded in 1896, the museum catalogs South Carolina's involvement in every military conflict since the American Revolution.
Executive Director Allen Roberson says the cut comes during the most successful period in the museum's history. "We have a growing education program, we've had since we reopened in 2002, we've had 8 straight years of increasing attendance and our highest month on record was April of this year," he said.
The museum is funded by the state Budget and Control Board, and the cut wipes out virtually all of the museum's operating budget.

"We are working with the Budget and Control Board so we don't know what's going to happen right now, we don't know the solution but we are working very strongly with the Budget and Control Board to see what we an come up with, what we can do to keep going," said Roberson

The museum has started a membership program to try to help with costs, and a temporary partnership with the State Museum could also be in the works.

To find out how you can help or just get the museum hours, you can check out their website here.

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