Please ask Oklahoma legislators to vote AGAINST HB3028!
On Wednesday, February 26, HB 3028 was amended and was heard at yesterday’s committee meeting. The bill passed in committee 6-5, and now is headed to the house floor for a vote as early as Monday, March 3rd. Please help us continue to reach out to legislators to let them know that passage of such a bill would cripple Oklahoma’s cultural community especially the arts and history.
HB 3028 includes consolidation of the Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Historical Society, and the Tourism and Recreation Department into a new Department of Tourism, History and Cultural Affairs. Here are some talking points on the issues specific to the affected agencies:
Oklahoma Historical Society
- Tourism is about marketing and economic development; the OHS is about collections, communities, students and education.
- The OHS partners with 28 local 501 (c) (3) organizations across the state to raise money and contribute time, talent and work to OHS programs. It is unlikely that those associations and funding support would continue under tourism.
- Abolishing the OHS Board of Directors as a governing body would alter the historical balance of direct citizen involvement, Governor’s appointees, and Legislative oversight in the governance of the organization.
Oklahoma Arts Council
- Loss of more than $1.5 million of federal and regional funding and programs for Oklahoma from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid-America Arts Alliance would be at risk.
- For nearly 50 years, the Council board has been actively involved in the objective grant making process, ensuring that grant making remains a competitive, credible, and transparent process. With consolidation, the Council board may lose its authority as a governing body.
- With consolidation, the state could lose the impact of its return on investment. Investing in the state’s arts and cultural industry yields significant economic results, with $1 in public funding seeding $14 in private matching funds and $8 in local and state tax revenues.
Contact Your Legislators Today
The two key legislators to contact first are:
Jeffrey W. Hickman
Speaker of the House
Majority Floor Leader
We also ask that you contact your own legislator. You can find out how to contact your legislator here: http://www.okhouse.gov/Members/Default.aspx
Please ask all of them to vote AGAINST HB3028!