Arts Testimony in Senate Finance, Education Subcommittee Heard Today!

The Senate Finance  Subcommittee on Education, Chaired by Senator Randy Gardner (R, Bowling Green), heard testimony from the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts on Wednesday, May 1st in support of the Ohio Arts Council’s budget.
The testimony provided by Julie Henahan, Executive Director of the Ohio Arts Council, and Tim Greenwood, Immediate Past President of Ohio Citizens for the Arts was well received by the Committee:  Senator Peggy Lehner (R, Kettering), Senator Nina Turner (D, Cleveland), Sen Bill Beagle (R, Tipp City), Senator Cliff Hite (R, Findlay), Senator Jim Hughes (R, Columbus), Senator Gayle Manning (R, North Ridgeville), Senator Tom Sawyer (D, Akron), Senator Michael Skindell (D, Lakewood), Senator Joe Uecker (R, Loveland), and Senator Chris Widener (R, Springfield).
As you will recall from our previous messages to you, the Executive Budget recommended that the Ohio Arts Council funding be increased by 11.5% over the current biennium for a total of $19,198,408.  The Governor recommended that the appropriation for subsidies (grants to arts organizations throughout Ohio) be increased by $2 million. In the current biennium (FY12-13) that category totaled $14 million for the two years. In the introduced Executive Budget recommendation, the total for subsidies (grants) is $16 million for the two years beginning July 1, 2013.
On April 18th the Ohio House of Representatives agreed upon Substitute House Bill 59 (the budget bill) which provides an additional $1.7 million for subsidies ($850,000 in each year of the biennium).  This means a total of $17.7 million for subsidies (grants) for the two years beginning July 1, 2013 in the House version of the bill.  This increase is due to your direct communications with your legislators and we thank you!
In his testimony to the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Education, Tim Greenwood shared Ohio Citizens for the Arts’ funding goal of $22.4 million (subsidy and operations) for arts and culture through the Ohio Arts Council’s budget.  This would mean another $1.5+ million for subsidies (grants).  Now is the time to make the magic of advocacy work again.
Action: At this time we urge you to be in contact with your Senate member to urge him/her to be in contact with their Senate leadership and the members of the Finance Subcommittee on Education expressing their support for a $22.4 million appropriation for arts and culture through the Ohio Arts Council.
Act Now:  Simply click here to login and be in touch with your Senate member.  Thank you for taking the time to respond to this action alert.  We encourage you to be in personal contact with your member of the Ohio Senate to reinforce the ideas you shared in your email (or letter) today.
If you are not a member of Ohio Citizens for the Arts we invite you to join today!  Visit the membership tab on our website at: www.OhioCitizensForTheArts.org Together we are making a positive difference for the arts in Ohio!
William P. Blair
Legislative Counsel
Ohio Citizens for the Arts
Donna S. Collins
Executive Director
Ohio Citizens for the Arts
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