Budget Update: Just a couple of steps away from the final MCC budget
So far, the arts community’s collective advocacy has helped fight off a cut to the FY17 MA Cultural Council, and get the budget back on track for an increase. Now we’re just a couple steps away from a final budget.
In July, the House and Senate Conference Committee will meet to decide at what level it will fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget -- whether it’s the $12 million in the House budget version, the $15 million budget in the senate version, or something in between. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear what the Conference Committee decides. In the meantime, stay tuned for our advocacy alert.
But let’s not forget how far we’ve come in the last several months. Your hard work and dedication as art advocates has paid off in a big way. Together, we boosted funding in the House budget from $10 million to $12 million with 104 co-sponsors on Rep. Atkins amendment. At last month’s Senate budget amendment hearing, the Senate voted - with strong bipartisan support - to raise the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s FY17 budget to $15 million. This follows the House’s allocation of $12 million - a $2 million cut from the MCC’s FY16 budget.
Thanks to the leadership of Senator Eric Lesser and his 26 co-sponsors, State Amendment #315 — providing a $15 million FY17 budget to the MCC — passed with a 37-1 vote. In a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Lesser noted the benefits that the arts and culture sector provides to the Commonwealth.
As Senator Lesser stated, last year the arts and culture sector brought in:
— $1.2 billion in direct spending.
— $520 million in indirect spending by investors
— $90 million in annual tax revenue.
The numbers speak for themselves. Together, let’s continue to let our elected officials know that, as Senator Lesser stated, “when we invest in the arts, we are investing in our future.”
Look out for our advocacy alert in July, after the House and Senate Conference Committee meet, and get ready to voice your support for the $15 million Senate version of the budget.