In Governor Justice’s FY 2018 Recommended Budget, all Division of Culture & History funding that comes from the state Lottery Education Fund (fund 3534 in the budget) was to be defunded. However, during the spring special legislative session, the West Virginia Legislature negotiated to pass the FY 2018 budget and continue funding programs made possible through the state Lottery Education Fund. Unfortunately, several historic preservation programs were funded at lower levels than in FY 2017, but there is good news for Fairs and Festivals, which received an increase in funding. Here are how things panned out (this is not a comprehensive list of line items):
Preservation WV – FY 2018 level – $491,921 / FY 2017 level – $587,519
Fairs and Festivals – FY 2018 level – $1,346,814 / FY 2017 level – $1,668,297
Historic Preservation Grants (also known as Development Grants) – FY 2018 – $294,742 / FY 2017 – $368,428
Grants for Competitive Arts Program – FY 2018 – $580,800 / FY 2017 – $726,000
Thank your legislators for supporting these important programs! Encourage increased funding levels by inviting them to events or to visit projects that benefit from these grant funds. Now is the time to ask them to consider increasing these funds in FY 2019.