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Good News from NCGA, But There’s More to Do

NCGAFrom our friends at ARTS North Carolina:

It’s been a busy 24 hours at the General Assembly as the House debated its budget on the floor for eight hours yesterday and took a final vote today. And the results are…

Initial House Budget
North Carolina Arts Council
Grants – $228,000 in reductions for both years of the biennium budget
NCAC Administration – $500,000 in administrative reductions for both years of the biennium.

Final House Budget
North Carolina Arts Council
Grants – $48,000 in reductions for both years of the biennium budget
Administration – $250,000 in administrative reductions for both years of the biennium
$250,000 of the original Administration cut was taken from the NCAC and given to Department of Cultural Resources to determine application across the agency (management flexibility)

Final Senate Budget
North Carolina Arts Council
Grants – $500,000 reduction first year/ $780,000 reduction second year of biennium
NCAC Administration – $500,000 reductions both years of the biennium

Thanks to many friends in the House led by Reps. Linda Johnson and Becky Carney, the House passed an amendment offered by freshman Rep. Rena Turner of Iredell County to restore $180,000 to the Grassroots Grants Program. The final vote was 107 to 9 which was an especially strong vote and a good indication of depth of support in the NC House for public money for the arts.

To your credit you have successfully engaged your Legislator in understanding the value of public funding. We could not do this work without you, and our work is far from over!

The House will officially vote the budget in today, and a Conference Committee to resolve Senate and House differences will be appointed.

See how your Legislator voted on the amendment that restored grant funding in yesterday’s floor deliberations: Click Here for the Roll Call Vote Transcript.

Send a quick email to your Representative if they voted “yes” for the Amendment and thank them for supporting additional grant funds for the North Carolina Arts Council. Make your email subject “thank you” and begin with the phrase, “I am a constituent in your district”. Be sure to include your name and contact information.  Expressed appreciation is the most valuable advocacy tool we have.

We begin work today on strategies for the Conference Phase. Stay tuned for a Call to Action expected tomorrow.

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