[nfbwatlk] FW: article in the Spokesman

Lauren Merryfield lauren1 at catliness.com
Thu Mar 31 21:54:53 CDT 2011

I'm glad we had some representation at the hearing.  I sure hope the bill 
doesn't pass!
advice from my cats: "meow when you feel like it."
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." ~
Albert Schweitzer
My new book, "there's more than one way to love a cat," is available at 
Visit us at catliness.com
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Freeman" <k7uij at panix.com>
To: <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 6:44 PM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] FW: article in the Spokesman

> From: wcb-l-bounces at wcbinfo.org [mailto:wcb-l-bounces at wcbinfo.org] On 
> Behalf
> Of Denise Colley
> Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 5:39 PM
> Subject: [Wcb-l] article in the Spokesman
> Here is the text of the article that was in the Spokesman.
> Denise
> WA Lege Day 81: Plan to save MAC draws heavy opposition - Spin Control -
> Spokesman.com - March 31, 2011
> OLYMPIA - Hearings started early today, with the House State Government 
> and
> Tribal Affairs Committee holding a packed-room session on the plan to save
> museums in Spokane and Tacoma by creating a mega-agency for arts and
> culture.
> Elswewhere in the Legislature, the Senate has a long list of bills - 
> mostly
> uncontroversial - queued up for a vote. The House Ways and Means 
> Committees
> has a list of bills that it must decide whether to send to the floor, and
> that list has some more controversial subjects, like medical marijuana
> rules, a health benefit exchange and changes to the GET program.
> In the early morning State Government Committee hearing,
> <http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2033&year=2011> HB 2033
> was heavily criticized, with opponents who included state librarians,
> organizations ,that represent the blind and Secretary of State Sam Reed, 
> as
> the wrong solution for a recognizable problem of not enough state funding
> for arts and culture programs.
> The bill would combine state agencies that oversee archeology, historic
> preservation, heritage, the historical societies, the state library and
> others into a single Department of Arts and Culture. Among them would be 
> the
> Eastern Washington State Historical Society, which operates the Museum of
> Arts and Culture in Spokane, and the  Washington State Historical Society,
> which operates the State History Museum in Tacoma. Both museums lose most 
> of
> their state funding in the budget proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
> To come up with money to keep the museums open, as well as other arts and
> culture programs also facing major cuts, the proposal would take money
> currently being raised by fees on documents filed at county auditors
> offices, and put it under the control of the new mega agency. By funding 
> the
> museums, however, the state would delay, or possibly eliminate, the 
> planned
> state Heritage Center in Olympia.
> Rep. Jeannie Darnielle, D-Tacoma, the bill's sponsor, looked out over the
> packed crowd and admitted it was tough to be in front of "an audience of
> people who hate you." But desperate budget times call for unusual 
> measures,
> she said.
> "There are such significatn cuts that there are people on this dias who
> don't know why we even keep the arts," Darnielle said.
> Reed, whose office would lose the state library and the planned Heritage
> Center in Olympia, agreed proposed budget cuts spell trouble for arts and
> culture programs. But Darnielle's plan shifts money around and creates a
> mega-agency: "It is a bad idea."
> The plan was also criticized by members of the state's blind community, 
> who
> wanted to protect the state's Braille and talking book program. "With all
> due respect, this legislation reeks of spin," said Mike Freeman of the 
> state
> chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.
> Librarians opposed folding the state library into a mega agency. Tribal
> representatives had concerns of putting the Department of Archeology and
> Historic Preservation, which has regulatory authority over tribal
> archeological sites, into the arts agency.
> Some members of the arts community were supportive, as were 
> representatives
> of Spokane and Tacoma, which would have major museums closed to the public
> under the governor's spending plan.
> Al Aldrich, lobbyist for the city of Spokane, said the city supports the
> proposal: "it may be the perfect answer.but it is a good answer. Shutting
> down the MAC is not a good answer."
> The committee is scheduled to vote on whether to move the proposal to the
> Ways and Means panel on Friday. Even if it passes the House, however, the
> bill may founder in the Senate.
> Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, has already said the Senate 
> is
> trying to find a way to fund the MAC and the State History Museum in 
> Tacoma
> through the general operating fund budget and does not support tapping the
> money set aside for the Heritage Center.


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