2018 Legislative Wrap Up

  Photo by Carl Shortt Jr

Photo by Carl Shortt Jr

Just a few days ago the State Legislature finished their regular session, passing the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriated state budget.
  
The Oklahoma Arts Council was appropriated $2,799,266, which is slightly increased from the FY18 mid-year cut budget level (+0.81%). But this is still down from last year's initial appropriation.
 
The entire state budget is $7.67 billion, approximately $745 million more than Fiscal Year 2018. Most of that increase goes to education and teacher raises.
 
Every state agency received either an increase over the final FY 2018 budget or a flat budget; no agencies received a cut for the first time in several years.
 
Overall, the Oklahoma Arts Council's budget still has been reduced 46% since 2009, totaling more than $2.3M in cuts. This includes more than 20% in cuts in just the last three years. These budget cuts have real consequences for programs and services that positively impact our communities. 
 
Without your advocacy, we are sure these cuts would be deeper. We want to acknowledge your work and feel optimistic that we have turned a corner.

With your advocacy we will help rebuild investment in arts and culture across the state! 


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Bills: The Final Story

Oklahomans for the Arts tracked proposed legislation related to the arts, public art, nonprofits and arts education.

In positive news, none of the bills with negative impact on the arts moved forward.

We were pleased that several bills did not get heard that would have limited the Art in Public Places program. This program invests 1.5% of large state capital improvement budgets in unique, state-commissioned artwork. The Oklahoma Arts Council administers the program. Learn more here. Our state will benefit from this investment in our unique culture and spaces.
 
Likewise, we were pleased that bills forcing legislative decisions on so called "pass-through funding" were not heard. This bill would have hindered the Oklahoma Arts Council's competitive grantmaking across the state.  We must continue to advocate for these important grants.  

These bills are dead since the 2-year session ended. See all the bills we tracked here.

 

Julia Kirt