Topeka — Advocates for the Kansas Arts Commission on Tuesday said the fight to keep the commission alive is still going on.
Earlier in the 2011 legislative session, the Senate rejected an executive order by Gov. Sam Brownback that would have abolished the Arts Commission.
But the battle over funding the agency continues as legislators reconvene the session Wednesday.
The Senate has included $698,000 in funding, but the House retains $200,000 in pass-through funding to the Kansas Arts Foundation, the newly created not-for-profit fundraiser that Brownback envisioned would replace the Arts Commission.
A news release from Kansas Citizens for the Arts, a grassroots organization that advocates funding for the arts, said Brownback has stated that he will veto any funding for the Kansas Arts Commission.
“As with all legislation sent to Gov. Brownback by the Kansas Legislature, Gov. Brownback will carefully consider and review the FY (fiscal year) 2012 budget when he receives it,” said Sherriene Jones-Sontag, a spokeswoman for Brownback.
Ann Evans, co-chairwoman of Kansas Citizens for the Arts, said Brownback’s support of rural economic development should extend to providing arts funding in rural areas.
“His plan to encourage people to move to those depopulating areas is admirable, but why would anyone want to live there if there is nothing for them or their families to do?” Evans asked.