Kansas Governor vetoes funding for state Arts Commission

Posted on: June 1, 2011

In a Saturday (5/28) Associated Press report published the Kansas City Star and other media outlets, John Hanna writes, “Gov. Sam Brownback eliminated state funding for arts programs Saturday, leaving the Kansas Arts Commission without a budget, staff or offices as he signed a new spending plan that also cuts aid to public schools and makes reductions across state government. The Arts Commission’s chairman responded to what he called the ‘Saturday morning massacre’ by promising it will continue to meet and lead an ‘arts movement’ to revive the agency. Arts advocates worry Brownback’s move will cripple local programs, particularly in rural areas, but he contends the arts will flourish with private support. The $13.8 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 cuts overall spending 6.1 percent to close a projected shortfall that had approached $500 million. … Brownback’s push to eliminate the Arts Commission as a cost-saving move inspired protests from arts advocates, generated opposition from some GOP senators and gained some national attention. Proposals to eliminate state councils or dramatically cut funding have been pursued in several states, including New Hampshire, Texas and Washington, but Kansas may be the first where such an effort has come to fruition.”

Posted June 1, 2011