Monday, March 7, 2011

Half way there - we're rockin!

Advocates. You've rocked it. You spoke and legislators listened. And now we're about half way done, getting a bill passed that will save 4Culture.

How have we rocked it? Both the House (HB 1997) and the Senate (SB 5834) passed the bills they were considering. This is because our political champions have teed up good plans, and advocates are supporting like crazy. Legislators are listening to you. They are responding to constituents emails, from the floor, during the debate (we have proof they read your emails!). They feel a connection to arts and heritage advocates and are responding. It's been awesome!

Now what?
Both bills offer a plan that will solve the 4Culture funding crisis, but the plans are different. Now we need the House and the Senate to come to agreement on what plan will be best. 

How a Bill Becomes a Law
Now the bills will swap places to be heard in the opposite chamber. We need at least one of these bills to make it through a Ways and Means Committee, Rules Committee and pass a Floor Vote in the opposite house.

Which bill do we prefer? Advocate4Culture supports both bills, because both solve a crisis for our local cultural communities. HB 1997 provides approximately $10 million more for 4Culture's programs in the years between 2012-2021, which would be great (we are double checking this figure, but we think this is true). So we will push most strongly for this approach. We will continue to show support for both, because we need at least one of them to pass. 

What can I do?
Stay tuned. We expect each of these bills to have public hearings in the next week or two. We will need another round of trips to Olympia, and letter writing, and phone calling when we know more about that.

Thank you for coming this far. Thank you for all you've done. Thank you for all you will do. We have come this far because of you. We will change the future with our opinions, our plans, our voices and our actions.

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