FCA Action Alert

House Recommends Increase and
Senate Recommends Substantial Cut
for Cultural and Museum Grants
as of 2-27-2016 

     The Transportation and Economic Development (TED) Appropriations Budget Conference Committee met twice yesterday to begin negotiations to resolve the differences between what the two chambers recommend for Florida's FY 2017 budget.  Below is the status of where negotiations are related to DCA grants. 

They will meet again this afternoon when the House will make its offer #2

AGREE on: 
     Culture Builds Florida Grants -- $1,682,209 that provides full funding for 80 projects 
     Cultural Endowment Program -- $480,000 that provides 2 State-endowment matches


Cultural and Museum Grants --
Row number 240 on the TED Budget Conference spreadsheets:  

     HOUSE Offer #1 Recommends an increase:  The House made its first offer in the
     morning for a total of $21,644,580 for Cultural and Museum Grants, which is an increase
     from its original recommendation of $14,907,118.
     SENATE Offer #1 recommends a substantial cut:  The Senate came back in the
     afternoon and made its first offer to cut its recommendation to $9,000,000 for Cultural
     and Museum Grants from its original recommendation of $19,460,000. 

     Note on why Senate recommends this cut in its Offer #1:  Chairman Jack Latvala
     indicated that he wanted the House to invest more in the legislative projects.  He said
     that it appeared the House was interested in funding the lists and not projects.  So, the
     negotiations are underway.  You can watch this brief discussion here at yesterday's
     meeting.  We're extremely disappointed in the Senate's current offer for Cultural and
     Museum Grants.  We understand it's about negotiations and getting one's
     priorities funded.  We all must stay the course and keep our communications flowing and
     continue to ask for what is needed to fund the 413 recommended Cultural and Museum
     Grants and all 37 Cultural Facilities Grants at the grant levels they qualify for. 

Cultural Facilities Grants --
Row number 260 on the TED Budget Conference spreadsheets:

     HOUSE Offer #1:  The House stays with $11,906,424 to fund all 37 grants.

     SENATE Offer #1: The Senate increased to $9,656,424, which would fund the
      first 31 on the ranked list of 37.

WATCH these brief TED budget conference meetings held yesterday, 1-27-16, to hear the discussions:

9:00 a.m. TED Budget Conference Meeting -- House makes its Offer #1
5:00 p.m. TED Budget Conference Meeting -- Senate makes its Offer #2

The TED Budget Conference will meet again this afternoon, and the House will make its Offer #2.

Continue to communicate and make the ask.

We must remain calm, focused, positive, tenacious, and understand that this is about the process of negotiating.   Let's continue to ask for what is needed to invest in these grants; and know that it's the beginning of the negotiating process, not the end.  We must stay the course as we have done in the past.

Step 1:   
All advocates should send emails immediately to Chairman Clay Ingram at clay.ingram@myfloridahouse.gov to thank him for his leadership, for respecting and honoring the ranked lists, and for recommending an increase in the Cultural and Museum Grants.  Encourage him to please remain strong with the House's position to fund the Cultural and Museum grants at the highest level and continue to support full funding for the Cultural Facilities Program.

Step 2: 
Please send emails to representatives and senators TODAY who serve on the TED budget conference committee, especially if they represent your county.
Check the TED Budget Conference Committee contact list to see if one or more of the members represent your county's interests. 

Step 3:
Continue to communicate with
your senator and representative. 
Suggested email to send immediately to members of the TED budget conference and your senator and representative:   
Dear     :

     Thank you for your support of the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs' grants programs.

     During budget conference, please

     1.  Support the highest appropriation possible, ideally the full $30,933,457 needed to fund 413 Cultural and Museum grants at their qualified grant amounts. 

     2.  Support the House's position on Cultural Facilities that will fund all 37 qualified grant applicants.

     All of the recommended grant applicants have gone through a rigorous eligibility, application, and review process to be vetted and recommended for these matching grants. 
     These State grants help leverage other private and public dollars necessary for these nonprofit organizations to preserve and create jobs.  Support and investment in these organizations are economic development and provide thousands of diverse and quality arts and cultural programs and services for millions of residents and tourists throughout our State and throughout the year.

     Thank you for your consideration of this request and for your leadership on these issues.


Your name 
     We will keep you informed throughout this process as these budget conference meetings occur.  PLEASE pay attention and follow through immediately on these alerts. Decisions are being made quickly during these budget conference meetings.

Your advocacy follow through matters
and makes a difference. 
Thank you.