November 10, 2020
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
In an effort to jump-start budget negotiations between the House and Senate before the continuing resolution funding federal operations expires on December 11, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its proposal for funding federal agencies for fiscal year 2021. In the new document, the Senate calls for appropriating $162.25 million—or level funding—for the National Endowment for the Arts. While it is disappointing that the Senate did not propose an increase, this figure was anticipated as a first step in bicameral negotiations with the House, which proposed funding the Agency at $170 million earlier this year.
Moving forward, NASAA will do everything it can to encourage Congress to support funding the Endowment at $170 million. Congress will attempt to reconcile these budget proposals before the continuing resolution expires, so please contact your members of Congress soon to urge support for the House-approved figure. Remind them that, thanks to the unprecedented partnership between the Arts Endowment and state arts agencies, 40% of all grant dollars are allocated to states and regions. This ensures that critical dollars reach rural areas and small towns, not just big cities. Further, please use this moment to update members of Congress and their staff about how the arts spark economic revitalization, how your agency strengthens local communities in these difficult times and how an increase in funding would contribute to your work.
If you have any questions about how to approach your particular delegation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.