Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thank You Governor Tim Kaine!

Posted by Bruce Miller on Behalf of Alan Albert, Virginians for the Arts
This just in:


We are relieved -- relieved and grateful -- to announce that Governor Kaine's proposed 2009 Budget Bill makes no further cuts in arts funding in the Commonwealth. The 15% cut applied to the present state fiscal year (FY 2009) is carried forward into FY 2010 in the Governor's proposal. This means that the total general fund appropriation for the arts will be reduced by slightly more than $930,000 over its original budgeted level for 2010 -- virtually the same reduction already put into place for the current fiscal year.

In a budget-writing season fraught with painful decisions, the arts community is enormously grateful to Governor Kaine and Secretary of Education Tom Morris for recognizing the vitally important role that state funding plays in keeping our cultural infrastructure intact during this very difficult time for nonprofit arts and cultural groups.

But our work has just begun. The Governor's proposal is just that -- a proposal -- and the General Assembly will place its own stamp on the spending plan over the next two months. It is more important now than ever that arts supporters meet with or at least write to their legislators and stress the importance of not making further cuts to arts funding. The very survival of many arts groups, already buffeted by the economic downturn, literally rests in the balance, and the outcome is far from assured.

If you have not contacted your legislators yet, please do so today. Tell them that the arts community is doing its part -- taking cuts every bit as deep as, for instance, higher education and the worst-hit of state agencies -- but cannot take further cuts without losing key components of our cultural infrastructure.

And while you are at it, please take a moment to thank the Governor and the Secretary of Education for what they have done. In the current climate, their actions are the most positive outcome for which we realistically could have hoped. Those actions are courageous and deserve our praise.

Alan Albert
Legislative Counsel
Virginians for the Arts"

Write Governor Timothy Kaine:
The Honorable Timothy M. Kaine
Office of the Governor
Commonwealth of Virginia
Post Office Box 1475
Richmond, Virginia 23218

Write Secretary of Education Thomas Morris:
The Honorable Thomas R. Morris
Secretary of Education
Commonwealth of Virginia
Post Office Box 1475
Richmond, Virginia 23218

--This message was written by Alan Albert, Virginians for the Arts

Final note from Bruce - This is really a wonderful sign of support from Governor Kaine. Please write to thank him, and Secretary Morris. Let's bury their desks in thank you notes. Remember, when Governor Wilder was faced with a less troubling recession in the early 80s, he cut the Virginia Commission for the Arts disproportionately from every other agency, costing individual nonprofit arts groups devastating cuts of approximately 65%. Governor Kaine has held fast at 15%. He gets it!!! Let's please all thank him.

--Bruce Miller

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In every aspect of his work, Gov Kaine has done and is doing a great job. Like Gov Mark Warner, he's a clear headed manager, and NOT a reckless idealogue. We're lucky to have him at the helm during these difficult times.

Donna and Kent Douglas