After Gov. Brownback veto threat, Kansas gets arts funding back

Posted on: June 4, 2012

Friday (6/1) on the Lawrence Journal World (Kansas), Scott Rothschild writes, “One year ago, Gov. Sam Brownback stunned arts advocates nationwide by vetoing funding for the Kansas Arts Commission. But on Friday, Brownback, without comment, signed into law a state budget that will include $700,000 for a new Creative Arts Industries Commission. … In 2011, Brownback defied legislators by applying a line-item veto to the $689,000 appropriation for the Arts Commission, saying that public tax dollars shouldn’t go to the arts. The action made Kansas the first state to stop state funding of the arts, and Kansas lost $1.3 million in federal and regional matching funds. The veto caused a public outcry and reports that many arts initiatives, especially in rural areas, had to scale back their programs. When the 2012 legislative session started, Brownback proposed merging the un-funded Arts Commission and the Kansas Film Commission into a new commission under the Kansas Department of Commerce. In addition, Brownback proposed providing $200,000 from the Economic Development Initiatives Fund, which is derived from gaming revenue. Legislators increased that allocation to $700,000 and that is what ended up being approved. Another bill set up a tax check-off where people can make a donation to the arts on their state income tax form.”

Posted June 4, 2012