Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Senate Zeros Out Arts Funding - Federal Arts Funding in Jeopardy for PA

From the Citizens for the Arts in PA:

(On Monday) the PA Senate approved HB 1416 as amended which includes ZERO funding for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) by a vote of 31-19. The lone aisle crossing vote was cast by Senator Lisa Boscola.

HB 1416 as amended will be sent back to the House of Representatives tomorrow morning where one of three options can take place:

1. They concur with the changes made by the Senate and send the bill to Governor Rendell for his signature
2. They vote to nonconcur with the changes and send the bill to a conference committee for further diliberation and compromise, or
3. They take no action on the bill.

This is where you come in...it is vitally important that you call your legislator Tuesday to tell him/her that you would like the House to nonconcur with the HB 1416 as amended. This the only way that PCA funding can be restored to the budget. We are down to the wire here. If you think that state arts funding is an important service for Pennsylvania government to provide to its citizens, then CALL your legislator in the morning. You can locate contact information for your legislator by visiting our Legislative Action Center at http://capwiz.com/artsusa/pa and typing in your zipcode in the box at the top of the page. Please give call your House member if this is important to you. Do you want Pennsylvania to be the only state without an arts council, without state funding and without federal funding? Yes, money from the National Endowment for the Arts will also disappear if PA arts grants are eliminated from the budget because NEA grants must have a match from the state.

Don't let this happen, keep arts money in Pennsylvania by contacting your House member and telling him/her to vote for nonconcurrence with HB 1416 as amended. If you have any questions or need a telephone number, please contact me at jlh@citizensfortheartsinpa.org or at 717-234-0959. Contact your House member NOW!

Jenny L. Hershour
Managing Director
Citizens for the Arts in PA

UPDATE: The House voted to "nonconcur" with the Senate bill. Members of both parties opposed the legislation. Now the bill returns to committee for debate. I spoke to Rep. Jennifer Mann today and she said she favors responsible cuts throughout the state budget, but it is not her intention to cut all arts funding. It's good to know there is support out there.

1 comment:

Joyce Marin said...

In the last depression, didn't the WPA specifically hire artists?