Entertainment Magazine

House Cuts MCC by 13% - Senate Budget Up Next

Posted on the 01 May 2014 by Notlobmusic @notlobmusic
Source: MassCreative, by permission.


Here is the proverbial good news and bad news from the work of the arts, cultural, and creative community over the past three weeks to increase the state’s investment in the creative community through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) budget.
First the bad news:
  • Late last night, the Massachusetts House passed its budget that cut the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget 13% to a level of $9.6 million. This is a $1.5 million cut from last year’s budget of $11.1 million. This reverses the budget gains made last year and will force the MCC to cut back on its support to the community and its programming.
  • This cut happened despite 113 legislators supporting Representative Cory Atkins’ amendment to increase the MCC budget to $16 million. More than 70% of the House supported an increase, yet the budget stands at $9.6 million.
Now, some good news:
  • Over the past three weeks, due to the outreach of all of you, we successfully bumped up the budget 88% from the original allocation of $5.1 million proposed in the first Ways and Means budget. Thank you to House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey who led that fight.
  • The creative community raised its voice in unison -- generating more than 2,000 emails in 48 hours to secure the 113 co-sponsors, using social media to educate the public, placing op-eds in daily papers around the state, and making hundreds of calls into the State House on Tuesday when the House was deliberating. Together, we held 14 district meetings with 33 legislators out in our communities. These meetings were attended by 544 people.
  • We built a broad base of support in the House. No other amendment recruited more than 83 co-sponsors. Only 15 of the 1,181 amendments had more than 50 co-sponsors.
  • A number of your legislators emerged as champions for the arts, cultural, and creative community. In particular, Arts and Culture Committee Chair Cory Atkins led the campaign work in the chamber with her colleagues and truly worked hard for us all.
The best news is that the process is not over. The Senate will release its budget in a couple of weeks and we will have another opportunity to reverse the cuts and work to increase the state’s investment in the creative community.
Stay tuned and get ready for our next round with the Senate, which will start in a couple of weeks.
Thanks again for all of your great work.

Matt Wilson, MASSCreative

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