Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update from Olympia

The Advocates showed up in force last Thursday for hearings in the Senate and House on the bills that would dedicate a portion of future lodging taxes to arts and heritage in King County. Almost 75 people attended the hearings and signed-in in support of the bills SB6661 and HB2912.

Many others sent emails to legisl
ators asking for support of these bills. We are waiting to hear whether these bills will be voted out of committee and passed along to the next stage in the approval process. We are hearing that HB2912 looks to be on track and may move ahead quickly. SB6661 is having more difficulty. It was passed out of the Senate Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Committee without a recommendation (bills can be given a “do-pass” recommendation; killed in committee; or moved without a recommendation).

February 2nd was Arts Day in Olympia and more than 175 people showed up to meet with legislators. Thanks to many friends of Advocate4Culture and the organizers, Washington State Arts Alliance for a productive day!

Reaction to the bills that support 4Culture and arts and heritage in King County, was generally positive. Many legislators expressed reluctance to support the bills as long as “publicly-owned stadiums” was included in the list of activities that King County would be allowed to fund when stadium bonds are retired. The list includes tourism promotion, youth sports fields or activities, community development authorities, performing arts centers, public health and human services, in addition to low income housing, which is specified in the two bills.

The 60-day legislative session is one-third over and there may be one more hearing in Olympia before the session ends. We may need to call on you one more time to make the trek! Until then, please write these legislators and ask them to support arts and heritage funding in King County

Photo by advocate, Scott Squire

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