Over the past two weeks, I have been relaying these call-to-action letters from Linda Baranski and the Lawrence Art Guild regarding Governor Sam Brownback's proposed budget for 2011.
As you may have learned, the new Governor and other legislators are facing an enormous shortfall, a projected $550 million shortfall, for the State of Kansas this year. Part of the Governor's proposed solution is to disband the Kansas Arts Commission.
As an organization about artists and for artists, MAPA wants you to understand what this means for members of the creative community across the Sunflower State and how losing benefits from the National Endowment for the Arts could hinder the progress of art in our region.
Midwest Association of Professional Animators
SAVE THE KANSAS ARTS COMMISSION!
Please help us save the arts in Kansas.
Governor Sam Brownback wants to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission as a state funded agency. If he does this not only will the Arts Commission not receive funding from the state, they will lose almost $800,000 in National Endowment for the Arts funds as well as other funding opportunities.
It will only take two minutes to fill out and send a letter using the following website: http://www.capwiz.com/artsusa/issues/alert/?alertid=22477501
This website will allow you to adjust the wording in the suggested letter and will automatically send the letter to your correct legislators.
Lawrence Art Guild Association
1109 Massachusetts St
Lawrence, Kansas 66044
FROM TOM SLOAN:
I appreciate receiving your comments in support of the Arts and state funding assistance. There are many aspects of the proposed budget with which I do not agree - K-12 and higher education funding, social safety net and water sustainability funding, and the arts program proposal.
I encourage you and your associates interested in this issue to contact Rep. Marc Rhodes, Chairman, Appropriations Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask to be informed when hearings on that part of the budget will be held and then testify in person or in writing about your concerns. In turn, I will be working to build support among other legislators to develop a more appropriate budget.
45th District Representative
FROM MARCI FRANCISCO:
Thank you for writing me with your concerns regarding Governor Brownback's proposed elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission.
I do recognize the very difficult budget situation that the state is in. Governor Brownback's budget reduces overall state spending by $876 million, almost all of that forced by the sunset of the federal stimulus funds Kansas has received ($492 million), the reduction in federal unemployment funds ($429million), and a reduction in federal disaster relief expenditures (($133 million). He is proposing $9.2 million be saved by agency reorganization or elimination. The Governor's budget does call for an increase of 6% in state general fund expenditures of $346 million, most of which goes to Medicaid expenses, pension and debt service costs.
However I believe that the legislature must do all it can to keep the jobs we have in the state, and continue to provide for a quality of life that attracts people and businesses to Kansas. Without an adequate plan for continuing to provide a match for federal and grant funds, I am concerned about the effect that the change would have on communities across the state. At this time, I do not support elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission and would support action in the Senate to block a reorganization order.
Again, I appreciate your interest, and will try to update you as actions are taken in the legislature on this issue.
Kansas Senator, 2nd District
P.S. I have asked my secretary, Mary Ann Evertson, to add individuals from my district to my e-mail newsletter list when they first contact me. Please let us know if you do NOT want to receive my newsletter.