Arts agencies across the state including Lafayette are marshaling their forces for the annual fight over public funding of the arts. In e-mails sent out this week by the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and others, members are being warned about major cuts to Decentralized Arts Funding and Statewide Arts Grants, two state-funded programs that disburse millions of dollars annually to arts councils, cultural non-profits and individual artists both rural and urban.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget seeks a $1 million dollar reduction in funding for DAF and another $1 million cut to SAG. Both DAF and SAG received just under $2.5 million in funding in 2009; the proposed cuts represent a 41 percent funding reduction. According to the Louisiana Parnership for Arts Advocacy:
If these cuts come to pass, the cultural-economic engine and tourism industry of Louisiana will become crippled by a severe ripple effect. These cuts affect artists, teachers, non-profit organizations, festivals, libraries, museums and theaters alike. No community will remain untouched and the economic loss will rank second only to the loss in social profit, community and quality of life. Culture is Louisiana’s finest natural resource. We need to nurture and protect it for it to flourish.
LPAA is urging state residents to log on to its Web site and send a message to members of the House Appropriations Committee, which met for the first time Thursday ahead of the session’s commencement on March 29.
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DEC 5 Here's the latest in the contest to see who gets the last word - Attorney General Buddy Caldwell or state Sen. Robert Adley. They're trading "Nuh-uhs" and "Un-huhs" over the issue of contigency contracts for public lawsuits. The guys over at LaPolitics kinda started this urinary competition, and they're posting the latest here.
DEC 5 Here's a post by blogger Walt Bennetti about a $2 million program management contract that Kenner Mayor Michael Yenni plans to award. Bennetti has a problem with no-bid contracts, but they're pretty common, especially for professional services (because really, who wants the cheapest doctor?) But the real problem Bennetti has is with the fact that the entity slated to receive the contract also happened to contribute to Yenni's campaign. Maybe he's just following the governor's lead?
DEC 5 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the really embarassing state of Louisiana's universities in this post. Grambling's football facilites were bad enough to warrant a New York Times photo essay, and he provides a link. And just recently, a concrete roof panel in LSU's College of Art and Design collapsed, closing a portion of the building indefinitely. Is this how we want our state's higher ed institutions to be?
DEC 5 Here's a post on the National Journal about another speech our governor gave to a bunch of people who live in another state. This time, he was ranting about President Obama, energy policies and, of all things, Lady Gaga. Keystone is good, so is fracking, and climate change is a big joke, Bobby says. What did Gaga do? She joined a movement, with people like Yoko Ono, that opposes fracking. Listen up Bobby: you might not want to alienate Gaga. You never know where those little monsters might be hiding -- and how often they vote.
DEC 5 Yesterday, we were perplexed by conflicting stories on the Blade blog and in the Advertiser about Louisiana's National Guard and same-sex partner benefits. The Blade reported that the guard would be paying them; the Advertiser said it would not. This story in the Washington Post clears it up: the benefits will be paid.
DEC 5 Clearly, somebody over at the state Democratic Party is familiar with the process of domain registration. This is the second time they've pulled the rug out from under a Republican candidate by reserving a domain they might want. Last time, it was RiserForCongress.com (hope they didn't pay too much for THAT one). This time it is VitterForGovernor.com, this post on the Politicus USA blog tells us.
DEC 5 Here's a pretty alarming story from WAFB about an announcement by Bobby Jindal's administration that hackers apparently got their hands on some citizens' personal info through JP Morgan Chase, the company that gets paid to send you your tax refund on a debit card. But hey, don't worry, Jindal's people say: there's no indication the hackers used the info "fraudulently." Oh, OK. Whew.
DEC 5 In this week's post, Jim Brown is blogging about Bobby Jindal and what the governor should do to solve his myriad problems. He even describes a phone call he 'received' from the guv asking for advice. Bottom line? Try staying home and doing the job you're supposed to be doing, Jim advises.
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