Power of Culture Blog
Because the MA House and Senate each endorsed its own version of the bill, a Conference Committee was appointed to reconcile the two bills and develop a final conference report.
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Today the House Committee on Ways and Means released a state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that calls for investing $16.6 million in the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Mass Cultural Council.
The House Ways & Means Committee’s proposal would add $533,000 for arts and cultural funding in Fiscal Year 2020, which begins July 1. The plan also includes provisions to strengthen Mass Cultural Council’s recent efforts to make its budget and spending more transparent to the public and its partner state agencies.
“We appreciate the tough choices the House must make to meet the demands of state services with available revenue,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “So we are grateful to receive an increase in the House Ways & Means Committee budget plan, the first in many years.”
“New data reaffirm what we see across the Commonwealth: arts and culture are a vital and growing part of our economy,” added Walker. “Public investment through Mass Cultural Council helps ensure this sector continues to prosper, and that culture’s myriad benefits are shared widely and equitably.”
The Council will work with MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and its supporters in the House on next steps in the FY20 budget process. The full House is scheduled to debate amendments to the Ways & Means budget during the week of April 22.
Debate on the House plan is one key step in the annual state budget process. The Senate will release its own budget proposal in May. The two chambers must then agree on a tax and spending plan before sending it back to the Governor, who may veto or approve the budget and/or specific line items.
Stay tuned for updates on the budget process and for the latest data on the nonprofit cultural sector’s contributions to the Massachusetts economy and quality of life.