Subcommittee cuts state arts budget by $200,000 in Senate 7/8

March 11, 1991|By Eric Siegel

A Senate Budget and Taxation subcommittee last week cut $200,000 from the fiscal 1992 budget of the Maryland State Arts Council -- the same amount cut by the House.

The Senate added language requiring the arts council to spread the cut evenly among all grant recipients, according to Sen. Lawrence Levitan, D-Montgomery, chairman of the committee.

The cut is just a fraction of the $1.15 million reduction recommended last month by legislative budget analysts. Arts leaders had predicted that a reduction of that magnitude would have a devasting effect on their organizations.

The current arts council budget is $7.4 million.

Last year, the General Assembly approved a $2.4 million increase in funding, allowing the arts council to finance 9.7 percent of the annual operating budgets of the state's six major organizations with budgets over $1 million and 87 small- and mid-sized groups.

The $200,000 cut comes on top of $125,000 in program cuts recommended by Gov. William Donald Schaefer and $350,000 in cuts from this year's budget, which have been deferred until next year. All told, the cuts will translate into a reduction of about 10 percent in arts council grants to qualifying organizations.

The cut must be approved by the full Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and the Senate, but those actions are considered virtual formalities.

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