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Governor’s Budget Includes Modest Increase for Arts & Culture

Bethann Steiner, Public Affairs Director

FY23 H. 2 budget represents Baker-Polito Administration’s highest investment in Mass Cultural Council

Governor Charlie Baker today released his final spending proposal, H. 2, for Fiscal Year 2023. As a state agency Mass Cultural Council relies upon an annual state budget appropriation to support operational, administrative, and programmatic expenses. Further, the Agency’s annual state budget appropriation represents the Commonwealth’s largest investment into the cultural sector each year.

The Governor’s FY23 H. 2 budget funds Mass Cultural Council at $20,382,378. Mass Cultural Council notes with appreciation that this is the highest-ever level of funding the Baker-Polito Administration has recommended for the Agency in its eight years, and represents a 25.1% increase from the FY22 H. 1 proposal of $16.3M last year:

Fiscal Year/Bill Number* Governor’s Funding Proposal for Mass Cultural Council
FY23 – H. 2 $20,382,378
FY22 – H. 1 $16,298,039
FY21 – H. 2 $16,298,039
FY20 – H. 1 $16,110,765
FY19 – H. 2 $13,950,699
FY18 – H. 1 $14,307,229
FY17 – H. 2 $14,160,000
FY16 – H. 1 $11,785,200

*Massachusetts’ fiscal years run from July 1-June 30.


Mass Cultural Council’s current FY22 state appropriation, $21,375,000, includes $20M for administrative costs, programs, and services and $1,375,000 in legislative earmarks. It is important to recognize that the Governor’s FY23 H. 2 funding recommendation, $20,382,378, provides Mass Cultural Council with 1.9% more unrestricted operating support ($382,378) than the current General Appropriations Act (GAA):

Fiscal Year/Vehicle Total Appropriation Total Earmarks Amount Available for Agency Operations
FY23 – H. 2 $20,382,378 $0 $20,382,378
FY22 – GAA $21,375,000 $1,375,000 $20,000,000

Mass Cultural Council greatly appreciates the Baker-Polito Administration’s proposed investment today, and believes it is a statement about the importance of the cultural sector in the Commonwealth.

What Comes Next?

Generally, after the Governor’s budget is filed in January the House and Senate Committees on Ways & Means convene a series of public hearings, which are followed by budget debates in the House of Representatives (April) and the Massachusetts Senate (May). Mass Cultural Council enjoys strong collaborations with Members of both Chambers and looks forward to budget meetings with our partners on Beacon Hill. We are delighted that for the first time in many years, we are entering the budget building exercise with a proposed slight increase to our line-item and hope that, as the process continues, the Governor’s $20.4M recommendation is considered a starting point. At minimum we will urge the Legislature to retain this figure in their FY23 budgets.

Fiscal Year 2023 begins on July 1, 2022 and ends on June 30, 2023.

Engagement Opportunity

Cultural sector stakeholders who wish to engage in the budget process can consider sending a thank you message to Governor Baker for his proposal today. You can also email your State Representative and State Senator to let them know that the Governor’s FY23 H. 2 recommendation for Mass Cultural Council is a strong investment, and that you’d like them to make funding for the cultural sector a priority in FY23.

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