In Governor Justice’s FY2018 Recommended Budget (SB 199 and HB 2018) all Division of Culture & History programming that comes from the state Lottery Education Fund (fund 3534 in the budget) will be eliminated. Programs that are made possible through the state Lottery Education Fund include the following appropriations (numbers reference line items in the budget):
- 09200 – Preservation WV (used to promote local community events)
- 31100 – Historic Preservation Grants (also known as Development Grants)
- 12200 – Fairs & Festivals
- 62400 – Grants for Competitive Arts Programs
Defunding these will cause a major detriment to economic development and cultural heritage tourism in West Virginia.
What you can do to help?
Contact committee members and ask them to include funding for these line items in their budget proposals.
You can find the contact information for the
Senate Finance Committee members at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/committees/senate/SenateCommittee.cfm?Chart=fin
House Finance Committee members at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/committees/house/HouseCommittee.cfm?Chart=fin
When you contact committee members, you can ask them to fully fund the Division of Culture & History.
Offer specific information about what will be lost without this funding.
Historic Preservation Grants keep roofs on historic buildings. Private, government, and nonprofit historic building owners can apply for these grants. All properties listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places and listed as a contributing building in a National Register Historic District are eligible. Every dollar in grants leverages an equivalent dollar amount in private and personal funds. These grants can be combined with tax credit incentives, as well.
Arts Programming supports activities around the state like the Huntington Symphony, WV Public Theater, and local community arts activities, as well as Festivals from Vandalia Gathering and Appalachian String Band Festival at Clifftop, to Mountain State Forest
Festival and fairs in small communities, would all lose funding through the Governor’s recommended budget. These programs utilize state funds to leverage federal, community and private dollars for programs that support jobs, bring visitors to WV tourism destinations, and enhance quality of life that attracts new business.
If you want to protect arts and historic preservation funding, please contact Finance Committee members today and ask them to fully fund the Division of Culture & History.