This week, I began to put together the information surrounding this years state budget issues. I originally didn’t think it was necessarily important to my project, but I have since changed my mind. I’ve found some really interesting information in Governor Rounds’ speeches. In December, he gave a speech foreshadowing the budget issues. December’s state revenues were $3 million lower than projected. With revenues down and additional spending mandated by the federal government, South Dakota needed to cut $49 million dollars from its budget. Thus, Governor Rounds’ next budget did not include funding for the South Dakota Arts Council or the State Archeology Center. However, with the federal stimulus money and a temporary .5% increase in tourism tax, both are partially funded.
I also found that three other states considered cutting arts funding in 2009-Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona. Some of which are still in the process of debating it. I really has been difficult year for most states. South Dakota is in relatively good shape compared to states like California and Iowa. Both cut education aid by several million dollars. I think the information that I’ve recently found reaffirms that this is the perfect time to study arts impact, especially when legislators and making such tough decisions.