President's FY2016 Budget Recommends Modest NEA Increase

February 2, 2015

From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 15:01

This morning, the Obama administration sent Congress its budget proposal for fiscal year 2016. The document, which is not a formal legislative bill, serves as a blueprint for how the president would like to see Congress allocate federal funding in the upcoming fiscal year. It does not itemize all expenditures, but it does recommend appropriations for federal agencies and offers policy prescriptions on which the administration would like to see Congress act.

The president’s FY2016 budget appendix recommends a funding level of $147,949,000 for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a nominal increase over its current level of $146,021,000 (which is an increase over the president’s request last year, when he proposed level funding). In submitting this request, the Obama administration states its continuing support of the NEA’s Our Town program, as well as the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership, a collaboration with the Department of Defense bringing creative arts therapy programs to patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic.

Also of note, the president’s budget made an identical recommendation of $147,949,000 for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Institute of Museum and Library Services was offered a proposed increase of almost $10 million, from $227,860,000 to $237,427,957. The budget also includes level funding ($25 million) for arts education innovation programs in the U.S. Department of Education.

With the president’s proposal now submitted, Congress will begin to work on the budget. Though the date has not been set yet, NEA Chairman Jane Chu is expected to testify about the agency’s request before the Appropriations Committee this spring.

I will include more information about the budget in my February NASAA Notes column. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch.