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PA House Defeats SB 850: Now It's the Governor's Turn

(June 8, 2009) -- Senate Bill 850 died in committee today.

The bill, which proposed to eliminate all funding for arts and culture in the Commonwealth's FY2010 budget, failed to pass a vote taken in Harrisburg by the PA House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

Though SB 850 was not adopted by the House, the budget battle is not yet over, and funding for arts and culture remains vulnerable.  Governor Rendell now has an opportunity to resubmit his budget proposal, originally introduced in early 2009. 

Since Pennsylvania's revenue projections have fallen substantially in the last few months, the Governor is expected to announce an additional $400-$500 million in cuts as part of his next proposal.  Tax increases and dollars from the Commonwealth's Rainy Day Fund have also been suggested as possible options for helping to balance a growing budget deficit for FY2010.  The Governor's proposal is expected soon, as the state is obligated to pass a balanced budget by the end of June.

As the Governor will need to make additional cuts to his budget proposal, it remains important for arts advocates to continue speaking out in support of state funding for arts and culture.  To take action, click here.