Budget conference: Senate, House agree on $750K for Florida Holocaust Museum
An emotional exhibit at the Florida Holocaust Museum displays a rail car used to transport Jewish detainees during the Holocaust.

Florida Holocaust museum
The appropriation would fund the museum's efforts to digitize, index and preserve testimonies and artifacts from Holocaust survivors and liberators.

After holding its ground in allocating $750,000 to the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Florida Senate was able to close a deal with the House, which approved the same amount in its second offer.

The item is listed in the latest House Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development budget offer, despite excluding the appropriation in its original budget and first offer to the Senate.

The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg is one of three accredited Holocaust museums in the United States. Pinellas County legislators Sen. Ed Hooper and Rep. Nick DiCeglie filed the appropriation requests (SF 1046, HB 2317) for the museum, asking for $750,000 to fund the museum’s efforts to digitize, index and preserve testimonies and artifacts from Holocaust survivors and liberators.

According to the requests, the amount from the state accounts for about a third of the project’s funding, with another $15,000 provided by local government and about $1.54 million funded by donors. The Legislature approved the same amount of funding for the museum last year, with this year’s funds hoping to “build on and continue last year’s support for 21st Century interactive exhibits,” according to the requests.

The museum also received $258,160 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding last year for payroll and health insurance for employees during a 10-week period, according to the requests. It also was awarded a $149,900 Economic Injury Disaster Loan for museum operational expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The requests detail the division of the funds, which would provide $75,000 for a project director salary, $258,000 for staff salaries and benefits, $218,000 on expenses related to artifact testimony, art digitization and indexing, and $199,000 on studies and conservation, care and photography.

The museum, which is home to over 19,000 original artifacts, hosts an estimated 60,000 students, 650 teachers and 47,000 individuals, virtual and in-person, each year. It also provides resources and educational material about the Holocaust.

“It is well documented that as the last remaining Holocaust survivors pass away their stories remain more relevant than ever,” the appropriation request reads. “It also demonstrates our need as a state to ensure that first-rate Holocaust outreach and education empowers current and next-generation leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to confront the extremes of hatred and persecution in their homes and communities.”

The museum was the subject of what investigators deemed a hate crime in May 2021, after graffiti was found on an outside wall, leading to an investigation by the St. Petersburg Police Department. The graffiti left the words “The Jews are guilty,” surrounded by swastikas. The Police Department is still investigating the situation as a hate crime in response to the antisemitic language and symbols.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].

One comment

  • Tom

    March 4, 2022 at 6:15 pm

    Hello, hello earth to Simpson, warning warning.
    How bout the gas moratorium?
    Do it for 100 days, geez
    Your running for Ag commissioner.
    Help the peeps.

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