Budget panel votes to cut arts funding 66 percentThe Legislature's budget-writing committee has voted to cut state funding for the arts by 66 percent.
By: Associated Press, Superior Telegram
MADISON — The Legislature's budget-writing committee has voted to cut state funding for the arts by 66 percent.
Gov. Scott Walker had proposed cutting funding for the Wisconsin Arts Board by 73 percent. The Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to restore about $350,000 of the cut with taxpayer money if federal matching funds are available.
Total money for the arts would drop from $1.6 million a year to $535,000.
The committee also agreed with Walker's recommendation that the independent board be made a part of the state Tourism Department.
Democrats railed against the proposal, saying there was no justification for the deep cut. Sen. Bob Jauch of Poplar calls it a "cynical attack on the arts."
Republicans justified the cuts by saying they were necessary given the state's $3.6 billion budget shortfall.