Power of Culture Blog
New legislation would create a $200M COVID-19 relief and stabilization fund using federal funds.
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Support HD655/SD1204 of 2021
Mass Cultural Council is thrilled to collaborate with Rep. Ken Gordon (D- Bedford) and Sen. Adam Hinds (D- Pittsfield) during this new 2021-2022 legislative session to advance HD655 and SD1204, bills filed to expand membership opportunities for Local Cultural Councils (LCCs).
Help us secure additional legislative support for this proposal. Contact your State Representative and State Senator and request that they co-sponsor HD655 and SD1204. Share the information about the bill below for their consideration.
Led by municipally-appointed volunteers, each year the Commonwealth’s LCCs award more than $4 million in grants to promote and enrich cultural life in all 351 Massachusetts communities. LCC grants support more than 6,000 cultural programs statewide, providing residents in every city and town access to arts and culture.
State law (MGL Ch. 10, Sec. 58) prohibits “elected public officials” from serving on their LCC.
Mass Cultural Council believes this restriction is appropriate for chief municipal decision makers, like mayors, city councilors, and select board members. However, this law also prevents those who are elected to serve in other local and regional capacities — like town meeting members, school committee members, local assessors, and library trustees — from serving on their LCC. In smaller, rural communities this severely limits the number of residents willing and able to serve as an appointed LCC member. LCCs cannot convene to conduct their important business if they cannot achieve quorum.
HD655 and SD1204 amend the statue and authorize local and regional elected officials to also serve on LCCs, excluding the community’s chief appointing authority and members of the local appropriating authority, as defined in MGL Ch. 59, Sec. 21C. HD655 and SD1204 offer a technical correction that is good for rural communities, promotes good governance and civic engagement, and strengthens participation in our cultural sector.
Please help us spread the word about this proposal: Urge your state legislators to support and co-sponsor HD655 and SD1204.