June 21, 2012
To: State Arts Agency Executive Directors and Chairs
From: Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel
House Appropriators Vote Cut in 2013 Arts Funding;
Senate Panel Sets Slight Increase to Arts Education Budget
The Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in the House of Representatives on June 20 approved the first draft of the fiscal year 2013 funding legislation, including a cut of $14.3 million in appropriations to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from current funding of $146.3 million. The Obama administration had proposed an increase in arts spending to $154.255 million in the president’s FY2013 budget request to Congress.
The full Appropriations Committee meeting in the House in the coming weeks is expected to approve the same funding level of $132 million in the Interior money bill. Last year, the House-passed bill would have set arts endowment funding at $135 million. For FY2013, the House measure approved by the subcommittee sets the same funding level of $132 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
There is no date set for when the bill might go to the House floor. Amendments to take further cuts in the arts spending should be anticipated.
No date has been set for action in the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on a companion bill. NASAA will keep you informed on the progress of NEA funding through the House and the Senate. NASAA and our fellow advocates are asking Congress to fund the NEA at $155 million in 2013. That’s the same level of appropriations provided to the arts endowment in 2011 and the amount initially proposed by the Senate for 2012.
In action on other appropriations measures, the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 14 approved the FY2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education money bill, with $26.5 million for the Arts in Education innovation program of grants funded by the U.S. Department of Education. In the current fiscal year, the department is administering some $25 million in Arts in Education funds.