Legislature Overrides Baker's MCC Veto
Great news from the State House: Both the Massachusetts House and Senate overwhelmingly voted to override Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of more than half of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s budget. This unanimous vote in the Senate and a 156-2 vote in the House reversed a 55% cut in the MCC budget, shows bipartisan support, and says loud and clear that arts and culture are worthy of investment as a core state service.
This vote brings the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget back to $14 million and steers clear of devastating cuts to grants and programs.
This victory is a direct result of the advocacy and engagement by a growing movement of leaders and supporters of arts and culture supporters. Over the past three weeks, arts advocates sent nearly 12,000 messages to state legislators urging an override of the governor’s veto. It was this flurry of activity that sparked Senators Dan Wolf and Eric Lesser and Representatives William “Smitty” Pignatelli and Cory Atkins to circulate a letter to Senate and House Leadership requesting their support for a veto override. Stories from across the Commonwealth reached every member of the Legislature and resulted in 135 legislators signing this letter to Leadership committing to the override.
The media also added their voice to the debate with editorials and stories in The Boston Globe, The Springfield Republican, The Berkshire Eagle, and WBUR’s The ARTery, each making a clear and compelling case for an override.
The MCC can now quickly pivot the task at hand – making grants to the 6,000 working artists and arts and cultural institutions across the Commonwealth.