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TX House guts the Texas Commission on the Arts

Thanks to a proposal by Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, the Texas state House today voted to remove all remaining state funding to the Texas Commission on the Arts, which has already seen 80% of its revenues disappear in current state budget negotiations. Simpson’s proposal took the remaining $3.5 million in the TCA’s budget to add that amount to community services for people who are elderly and have disabilities. According to a Houston Chronicle blog about today’s vote, Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, who voted for it, asked his colleagues: “Can you imagine … that mail piece that says … ‘He voted against the elderly, but oh, they saved the symphony’.”  Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond countered that the $3.5 million “is a drop in the bucket” given human services funding, and that “What we’re going to do as a consequence of that is destroy an organization that does have value to the state of Texas.” He said it couldn’t be rebuilt in two years if gutted.

also by Rainey Knudson
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