Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whoopie! We're getting some action!

and we need your help...

We continue into week two of the 2010 legislative session with two new House and Senate bills being introduced! If passed, these bills would become law that would ensure future public funding for arts, heritage and culture at current or higher levels than now. This would be awesome. The bills are being "heard" in committee next week. So at this stage we need your help to let your legislators know you support these bills and see if we can push them through this important step.

The most important thing you can do to show support at this point is to come to the bill hearings scheduled for next Thursday January 28, 2010!

8:00 am, O'Brien Bldg Hearing Room C
House Finance Committee hearing for HB2912

10:00 am, Cherberg Bldg Hearing Room 3
Senate Committee on Economic Development and Trade & Innovation hearing for SB6661


Please email Advocate4Culture@gmail.com ASAP to let us know if you can make it and if you need a ride.
We'll be leaving bright and early Thursday morning (at 6:30am) to make it down to Olympia in time for the first hearing, and should be back around lunchtime. We know it's hard to drag yourself out of bed and down to Olympia at such a crazy hour, but seriously this is the most important way for us to be heard and we will try to make it fun and easy for you (donuts and coffee anyone?)


MORE DETAILS ABOUT THESE BILLS

Both HB2912 and SB6661 provide KC arts and heritage programming with 37.5% of lodging taxes beginning in 2021. They also provide additional resources to arts and heritage and low income housing in the event the Kingdome debt is retired earlier than December 31, 2015. These provisions would be terrific if 4Culture is allowed to spend down their endowment between 2013 and 2020 in order to bridge the gap.

Other interesting stuff… both bills provide an equal investment in arts and culture and low income housing entirely from lodging taxes. They also let King County decide how to spend other taxes used to build Safeco and Qwest Field when debt on those stadiums is retired. Among the allowable uses defined by the legislation are Safeco maintenance, community development, community centers, community preservation and development authorities, regional centers, performing arts centers, public health and human services.

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FAQ - What happened to SB6116 and HB2252? As we posted a few days ago, these bills from last session may still be in play. However, the new bills HB2912 and SB6661 are very similar. The fact that they've been introduced at this point leads us to believe that the new S6661 and HB2912 essentially replace these bills. We will continue to keep an eye on our old friends 6116 and 2252 and let you know if they pop up again.

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