"As Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, I am extremely troubled by Governor Paterson's most recent financial plan for the State. New York must grow out of this recession, and the Governor's proposed cuts to the New York State Council on the Arts, an agency that helps cultivate tourism and culture in our communities, is not a step in the right direction.
"The Governor proposed cutting NYSCA's funding from $41.6 million to $25.2 million. These cuts to an entity that provides essential support to a great number of cultural organizations throughout the state, will only serve to further deteriorate an already dismal economic climate for arts groups.
"NYSCA is one of the oldest and most well-respected arts agencies in the country, and has already experienced severe budget cuts over the past decade. It has a proven track record of solid experience funding both large and small arts organizations- many of which bring jobs and commerce into our local economies- and it should not be shortchanged in this budget.
"Arts organizations have been financially suffering for years. The Governor's proposed cut places an even heavier financial burden on an industry that, while serving as an economic engine, has always helped to improve the vibrancy and character of our great state. "