Henry Schwaller IV, chair of Kansas Citizens for the Arts and a member of the Hays City Commission has sent a letter to the state’s art advocates on the recent state legislative session.
Schwaller wrote, “The Kansas Legislature completed the regular session on Friday and will be on break until May. Legislators adjourned without reaching a final agreement on the budget and taxes.
House budget negotiators accepted the Senate’s position on arts funding that adds language to directs any remaining – or unspent – funds for the Creative Arts Industries Commission that was appropriated for FY 2013 to be reappropriated for FY 2014. The House did not consider the language in their version of the budget. Since the House has accepted the Senate’s position, the Senate’s language will be added in the final version of the negotiated budget bill.
Once the final negotiated budget bill is crafted it will be sent to both chambers for a vote of approval. However, this vote will not take place until the legislators return in May. Also since there is still no agreement in the major tax plan it is uncertain how that will impact the overall budget picture. As of now it is a waiting game until May to see the final decision.”
Last year Schwaller was voted Kansas Arts Advocate of the year, the first person to receive the award. Kansas Citizen for the Arts was founded in 1990.