The Lansing State Journal reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm is considering "merging or eliminating the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries (HAL), but no decisions have been made, her office said." HAL was created in 2001 by former Gov. John Engler "after seeing value in bringing together the state's cultural agencies."
HAL's website is a boon for Michigan genealogists, especially out-of-state ones like myself. There is a whole section of the site dedicated to genealogy that includes the entire 1870 U.S. Federal Census of Michigan (scanned images, indexed), the state naturalization indexes, and Michigan Cemetery Sources, to name a few.
It simply is tragic that historical, cultural, and educational programs such as this department are on the block all over this country because of budget cuts. One quote from the article stated, "Although no decisions have been made, some legislators believe there's no need for 19 departments." I like to believe that there's no need for so many legislators.
You can read the article for yourself here.