As suspected, Assemblywoman Huttle’s bill A2249 (that increased minimums for arts, history and tourism to original levels of support over 3 years) was merged into A3555 at today’s meeting of the Assembly Arts, Tourism and Gaming Committee . This bill is a duplicate of S2090, (that passed with a unanimous vote in the NJ Senate) and recommends increased minimum appropriations for arts ($31.9 million), history ($5.5 million), tourism ($17.6 million), and NJ Cultural Trust ($720,000). This bill does not remove the poison pill provision that mandates the 2004 minimums that are currently in place ($16 million, $2.7 million, $9 million, and $500,000, respectively).
The bill will most likely move to the full Assembly for vote. There are 2 things you can do. The first is to thank the committee members for hearing and passing the bill and the second is to write your district legislator and ask for their support of the bill as co-sponsor and for their Yes vote when the bill is posted. Feel free to make the case personal by citing how increased state support will make a difference to your organization and your community.
While this bill does not alter the 2004 “poison pill” minimum provisions, the recent attention and support of the NJ legislature is a clear indication that your advocacy over the years has made a difference and that the need for increased support is being heard. Your continued action will keep this issue on their radar screens. ArtPride NJ will keep you posted of a scheduled Assembly vote.