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From March 19, 2010
At the State Arts Council
With this news update, we need to inform you that there have been some developments in the legislature that may dramatically effect the FY2011 State Arts Council budget.
Some of you may have seen the newspaper articles covering House Bill 1664 yesterday, wherein state general funds for “Arts Development grants” are cut in the amount of $428,000 (our entire State grants budget) and the N.H. Film Office is eliminated. This bill was introduced to address anticipated revenue shortfalls for the state in FY2011. Our understanding is that the House and the Senate are each taking the initiative to introduce bills that would make cuts to the state budget, beyond what is anticipated as cuts from the Governors office. HB 1664 was originally introduced by legislators in the amount of $77 million and was amended to its current $47 million in cuts, and passed unanimously by the House Finance Committee. HB 1664 goes to the House floor for a vote next week. Currently, the Senate bill to make additional cuts to the state budget does not include cuts to the Arts Division.
The two bills (HB1664 and the Senate bill) will undoubtedly need to be reconciled in Committee of Conference. We are not clear how the Governor’s requested budget cuts will factor into all of this. It will most likely be in addition to the legislative cuts.
Needless to say, elimination of the general funds for grants would not allow us to invest in the arts infrastructure that helps leverage economic development for the state of New Hampshire. As you develop budgets for FY2011, please keep in mind that currently our funds are uncertain. We appreciate your continued support of the State Arts Council and the services that we provide to the citizens of New Hampshire. We will keep you apprised of news as we learn of it.
For information about advocacy contact New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts Board member Connie Rosemont at email@example.com.
New Look for Our Website:
Please visit our new home page to see our new Spotlights feature that provides windows into the many ways in which State Arts Council funding benefits the citizens of New Hampshire.
March 19, 2010