Governor Corzine’s budget contains a 10% increase in funding for arts and history for FY08. Arts funding for cultural projects through the NJ State Council on the Arts is proposed at $21 million, which is $1.7 million shy of the 2006 level prescribed by legislation that established the Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax.
History funding is proposed to increase $346,000 bringing it to the 2006 level. The NJ Cultural Trust is slated to receive $720,000, the same level as last year and there is no indication that staffing for the Trust is restored.
Arts advocates should take pride in being heard by the Governor and this administration, and should take a minute to thank the Governor for increasing cultural support during continued hard times for the NJ state budget (click on Action Alert at www.artpridenj.com). But the job is not yet done!! Now that the budget is in the hands of the NJ State legislature, we must remind our district elected officials that cultural funding is important–that they should support the Governor’s budget—and that arts funding STILL needs to be fully restored to the level of the 2006 legislation. And don’t forget the NJ Cultural Trust!!!