At the end of the day, it always comes down to money. By July 1, Harrisburg needs to make a decision on its state budget which basically means, what money goes where. At the moment it seems like the Lehigh Valley Arts Council is pushing lawmakers to push for its own state funding because right now it doesn’t look like it’s going to be getting all that much money. Currently there’s a proposal out that, if passed, is going to make a substantial cut on funding for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Big Budget Cuts in Art
Indeed, if this goes ahead, monies going towards the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts will be reduced from $8.2m to $2.5m (that’s a staggering 70 percent reduction). So if Harrisburg lawmakers vote in favor of this, it’s not going to bode well for Lehigh Valley artists who are set to lose around $350,000 in state support in 2012.
Other Big Budget Busts
It’s not just going to be the arts that are going to be suffering though. It seems like pretty much everyone in Harrisburg is going to have to watch out since the proposed budget cuts are coming in thick and fast, impacting a whole slew of areas. Education and health care will probably suffer too. So who exactly is going to benefit? And what are people meant to do? Senator Daylin Leach of Montgomery is advising candidates to try to remember that their “state lawmaker voted in May 2011 to cut state support for local schools or other programs.” People need to remember this when they enter a voting booth next year, in November 2012.
If all these budgetary cuts go through, people are not going to be happy. Everyone will be affected in some way and not in a good way either. Arts, health and education are likely to suffer the most.