• Important Legislative Updates for Arts and Culture

    by  • July 8, 2017 • Legislation, News

    News via the Massachusetts Cultural Council:

    Legislature’s Final State Budget Funds Arts & Culture at Current Levels

    July 7, 2017

    The state Legislature approved a budget today that will support the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Mass Cultural Council at current levels of just under $14 million.

    Faced once again with sluggish revenue growth, the Governor and Legislature pared back much of the proposed new spending for Fiscal Year 2018, which began July 1. Mass Cultural Council and its supporters had originally sought a $16 million budget for arts and culture, and in May the state Senate approved a slightly higher, $16.5 million allocation. But that had to be reconciled with a much lower, $12 million allocation approved by the House of Representatives earlier in April.

    A House-Senate Conference Committee charged with reaching agreement on the two chambers’ FY18 budget proposals split the difference, resulting in a second straight year of flat state funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences, at just under $14 million. Governor Charlie Baker has ten days to sign the budget, veto it, or return it to the Legislature with proposed changes.

    “This is not the outcome we sought, but we are grateful to avoid further cuts that erode our ability to meaningfully invest in the nonprofit cultural sector through our range of grants and initiatives,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “Thanks once again to all of our advocates who joined us to make the case for the public value of the arts, humanities, and sciences in their communities.”

    Walker also thanked the Conference Committee members along with Senate President Stan Rosenberg of Amherst, House Speaker Robert DeLeo of Winthrop; and all the members of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, for their support during the state budget process.

    News via the Massachusetts Production Coalition:

    July 7, 2017

    No changes to Film & Television Incentive adopted in Legislature’s State Budget

    The Massachusetts House and Senate released their agreed upon budget today for FY2018, which includes no changes to the film and television incentive program. As you know, the Senate budget proposal sent to the Conference Committee included provisions that would have severely impacted the film and television incentive program by placing a cap on above-the-line salaries. Those changes were not adopted in the legislature’s resolved budget.

    This is very good news. The budget now goes to the Governor for approval. It is unlikely there will be changes to the incentive program during that process, but it will not be 100% definitive until the budget is signed into law.

    The success of our advocacy stems from the inclusive and coordinated effort of our members and fellow industry stakeholders, and the extremely effective advocacy that every one of you engage in by participating in these activities. Each contact to your legislators and the relationships you build with them, let them know how the success of this program and industry impacts your jobs and businesses, and the economic vitality of the state. It makes every difference.

    Please take a moment to thank your legislators for supporting our industry, hearing our concerns, and their service to the Commonwealth.

    Find your legislator:

    Thank you for being part of these efforts. We couldn’t be more excited for the bright year ahead for our industry and to continue serving you.

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    The goal of the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition (MALC) is to ensure that Massachusetts artists of all disciplines have a voice in public dialogs, decisions, and key public policy initiatives that impact the artists community and the creative economy. MALC works to ensure that artists have a permanent place at the policy making table.