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Obama Budget Includes Increased Smithsonian Funding

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By Rebecca Blatt

President Obama's budget plan trims funds for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. However, it includes a $36 million increase for the Smithsonian Institution.

The proposal includes close to $800 million for the Smithsonian. That would be the most the Smithsonian has ever received. The Institution had requested funding for new priorities set out in a new strategic plan -- including a focus on biodiversity and climate change.About $8 million would be devoted to that research. Another $20 million would go to design the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015.

Approximately $1.5 million would be set aside for staff and equipment to continue digitizing the Smithsonian collections to make them accessible online for researchers and visitors who cannot go to the museums in person.

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