We just contacted Jim Kelly, Executive Director at 4Culture to find out the latest with SHB 1997. He told us that the bill is being moved from the Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Committee to Senate Ways and Means Committee. We think this is great news as we have more support for arts and heritage among members of Ways and Means.
WHAT CAN WE DO NOW TO MOVE THINGS FORWARD?
- ATTEND one of the many Town Hall Meetings hosted by your legislators this weekend - March 12th. Two of the most critical legislators for our bills, Speaker Frank Chopp and Senator Ed Murray, will be hosting a Town Hall on Capitol Hill at 2:00pm [click here for details]. This is a great opportunity for advocates to ask them to come to an agreement on the best way to save arts and heritage in King County. Even if they don't represent your district, lets pack the house!
- WRITE your legislators, even if you have already, and urge them to support SHB 1997 and SSB 5834, which both secure the future of 4Culture.
- WATCH this blog for updates about public hearings that will scheduled for these bills. We will need advocates to join us in Olympia. We can offer rides.
Check out these tips on contacting your legislators. Below are a few interesting facts to keep in mind as well:
- SHB 1997 and SSB 5834 provide economic development, jobs, and support tourism related activities, which draw visitors to all of Washington State and benefit all of it's residents.
- Culture is an economic driver. A recent study shows arts and culture generate $1.75 billion dollars in revenue for Washington businesses.
- We need to save 4Culture this year or we have a 90% cut in funding that will amount to the agency shutting it's doors and an end of support.
- Regarding the reticence of senators to pass SHB 1997 - these taxes were planned and plotted during some of the most flush years our state has ever seen. We know they were scheduled to end, but we are now in the deepest recession our state has seen and could use some innovation and stimulation to create jobs and get us out of this mess.