S-2090 was heard in the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on June 9th. This bill calls for an increase in the minimum annual amounts for appropriation for certain arts, historical heritage, and tourism purposes from hotel and motel occupancy fee revenues and proposes to increase the FY’17 appropriation for the NJ State Council on the Arts to $31M. For the Newsworks WHYY report, click here.
There was clear bipartisan recognition by committee members of the need for additional state support. It seems there is a desire for legislation that would assure the arts receive increased state dollars through its dedicated revenue source.
However, there is still work to be done in order for A-3555 to be heard in the Assembly, so stay tuned for calls to action as we continue to work toward a legislative solution! Please encourage Assembly Speaker Prieto to hear A3555 in Assembly Budget Committee this Thursday 6/23.
If you haven’t yet signed onto the petition, there is still time to make a difference and add your name. Please click here to sign.
Additionally, the NJ state budget will be passed in the next 2 weeks. A major issue is assuring that the NJ Transportation Trust Fund is not depleted. The NJ Assembly & Senate are now considering solutions that include a tax relief package with a new NJ charitable donation provision.
ArtPride NJ has concerns that arts and cultural organizations may be excluded from the list of charitable organizations eligible for the charitable deduction and that it may be exclusive to individuals who wish to donate to social service organizations.
NOTE: While there are currently a limited number of cultural groups on the list that legislators are considering to be eligible for a charitable deduction, the sole criterion of being a social service organization may exclude all cultural groups from eligibility.
Other bills to watch:
A3373 Establishes “Art in Storefronts” initiative within the Main Street New Jersey program
A2477 Drama Therapists and Dance/Movement Therapists Licensing Act provides for the licensure of clinical drama therapists, associate drama therapists, clinical dance/movement therapists, and associate dance/movement therapists.
A4353 Music Therapist Licensing Act provides for the licensure of music therapists.
Both A2477 and A4353 will improve access to creative therapy services for NJ residents, alleviate public confusion, and protect consumers as they differentiate between professional creative therapies and health/wellness programs that use the arts as a tool.
ArtPride regularly tracks any bills that relate to the arts and arts policies, and you can visit ArtPride’s Arts Action Center to learn more.