NASAA Notes: June 2014

June 4, 2014

Call to Action: NEA Chair Vote

After several months with little progress, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee met in May and approved the nomination of Dr. Jane Chu to lead the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). During the confirmation process, it was important to NASAA that the principle of 40% of NEA grant funding being mandated for state arts agencies be affirmed both in questions posed to the nominee and in responses by the nominee. I am pleased to relay to you that this was indeed the case. Dr. Chu expressed her support for the continued 40% allocation of NEA funds to state arts agencies and acknowledged the work they are doing out in the field at the local level. She further recognized the important role state arts agencies play in advancing the arts in the United States.

With Dr. Chu’s selection approved by the committee, her name now goes before the full Senate for a vote. A date for this vote has not been established, however, and there remains a significant backlog of appointments awaiting a confirmation vote in the Senate. Therefore, I encourage you to send a note to your senators to urge their support for Dr. Chu’s nomination. In your letter, consider encouraging the senator to whom you are writing to ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring Dr. Chu’s nomination to the Senate floor for a vote. The agency’s last chair, Rocco Landesman, stepped down on December 26, 2012. The current fiscal constraints facing Congress as it sets a budget for fiscal year 2015 make it all too important that the NEA have a leader as soon as possible.

Contact your senators

While Congress continues to work on passing a budget for FY2015, the Interior Appropriations bill, which includes the NEA’s budget, has not yet been released. Because 2014 is an election year, senior congressional staffers say that the House and Senate would need to make significant progress over the next months in order to pass a budget before the current fiscal year expires on September 30. Should Congress be unable to pass a formal budget, there is every expectation that Democrats and Republicans will agree on a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government operating through the election.

NASAA will continue to monitor the Senate’s consideration of Dr. Chu closely and will make you aware of any developments. In the meantime, if you have questions related to the nomination or any other federal policy issue, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I can be reached at 202-540-9162 or by e-mail at

In this Issue

State to State

Legislative Update

More Notes from NASAA

Executive Director's Column

Research on Demand




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