The administration’s fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress is $851 million, an increase of $46 million from the appropriation enacted in FY 2014 of $805 million. In addition to the Smithsonian’s regular appropriation, the President’s budget proposed $6.8 million for the administration’s “Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative,” which at the Smithsonian will support research programs in biodiversity, history and art, and astrophysics.
The Salaries and Expenses request for FY 2015 is $700.8 million and the Facilities Capital budget is $150 million, which includes $24 million in construction funds for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Salaries and Expenses
The Salaries and Expenses account includes $14.4 million for uncontrollable costs that includes the 1 percent pay increase for federal employees, as well as increases in rents, utilities and employee benefits. The FY 2015 budget request continues to prioritize the programmatic increase into the broad categories of the Institution’s strategic plan, linking the funds directly to the overall mission. This year, the Smithsonian will use S&E funds to support the following:
$10 million for STEM projects that will deliver content to teachers and students. The funds will support the Smithsonian’s work with federal agencies implementing the STEM five-year education strategy
$9 million for the National Museum of African American History and Culture for developing inaugural exhibitions and programs and to support fundraising efforts
$8 million to address high-priority operating and safety needs in the existing buildings and the new National Museum of African American History and Culture
$3 million for collections care that includes $700,000 to support the welfare and care of the animal collection at the National Zoo
$1.8 million for comprehensive digitization to standardize and expedite the process of scanning collections and enhance capacity for 3-D technology
In addition, the Smithsonian is requesting an increase of $5.3 million for facilities maintenance, which includes fire-protection and collection-storage improvements.
The Facilities Capital request for FY 2015 is $150 million. Funds are directed toward revitalization projects involving major repairs to address significant infrastructure problems. The only construction funding in the budget request is $24 million for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Among the facilities scheduled for revitalization projects are the National Museum of Natural History ($23 million), the National Zoo ($15.8 million), Renwick Gallery’s two-year renovation ($7.5 million) and the Freer and Sackler galleries ($6 million). The request includes $22.6 million for planning and design of future projects.