NASAA Notes: February 2020

February 6, 2020

2020 Is Off to a Busy Start—Here's How You Can Help

Historically, activity in Washington tends to be relatively uneventful in presidential election years because members of Congress from both parties prefer to be back in their home districts and states engaging in their campaigns. This year the expectation is no different, especially since control of the House, Senate and White House are closely contested.

While this limited schedule means a lot of important issues will likely be put on hold until next year, one bill that absolutely will be dealt with is the funding legislation for fiscal year 2021. Congressional leadership is already moving at an accelerated pace to try to ensure that a government shutdown will not be in play as the election approaches. February 4, when President Trump delivered the State of the Union Address, marked the unofficial kick-off of the appropriations season. That speech historically begins the funding process because it is the executive branch’s vision statement for the year ahead.

With that speech having taken place, the House Appropriations Committee is already working on drafting appropriations bills for this year. NASAA President and CEO Pam Breaux testified this morning before the committee in support of federal funding for the arts, asking the committee to fund the National Endowment for the Arts at $170 million for FY2021. This request, which was developed in collaboration with our arts advocacy partner organizations, would provide the Endowment with an increase of $7.5 million over its current funding level.

With the committee currently considering funding for the Arts Endowment, now is the time to contact your member of Congress—especially if you are represented by a member of the House Interior Appropriations Committee—and urge that they support the agency. Here are some points you can consider making:

  • Thank the member of Congress for supporting an increase in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts in the FY2020 appropriations bill (which increased funding from $155 million to $162.5 million).
  • Urge that they support an increase to $170 million in the next fiscal bill, while specifically noting that 40% of grant dollars allocated to the Arts Endowment goes directly to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.
  • In asking for an increase, share a specific initiative or performance under way at your agency, and highlight how federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts helps to support this programming.

As always, NASAA will keep you updated as developments unfold. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have. You can reach me at 202-540-9162 or

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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