The Norman Transcript

Headlines

January 23, 2013

Lawmaker wants to eliminate OAC funding

OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill filed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives proposes all funding to the Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) be eliminated.

The legislation, written by state Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Tecumseh, would reduce state government funding to the OAC each fiscal year by 25 percent, eventually ending the appropriation in 2017.

The first reading takes place Feb. 4. If passed, the bill will become effective July 1. Cockroft said the bill may be assigned to a committee next week.

Cockroft said his intent in writing HB 1895 is to simplify state spending and focus on funneling state tax dollars to core government functions like education.

“My goal with this bill isn’t to destroy the arts in Oklahoma. It’s actually quite contrary. I personally have been involved in the arts over the last couple of years,” Cockroft said. “I think there is a need and an incredible desire for that here in Oklahoma. The question is: Is that the state government’s responsibility?”

The state appropriates $4 million to the OAC every year, Cockroft said.

According to the OAC website, $4 million is less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the state budget, with 80 percent of funding going directly to communities across the state. Those funds support Oklahoma’s $314.8 million nonprofit arts and cultural industry and more than 10,000 jobs. The industry generates $29 million in state and local tax revenue.

Joel Gavin, OAC director of marketing and communications, said about 85 percent of OAC’s budget comes from state appropriations, with the remainder coming from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA grant is contingent upon the state having an arts council, so the bill threatens NEA funding as well. Without state funding, it’s more than just the OAC suffering.

“If HB 1895 passes, funding for over 300 organizations in communities throughout the state would be gone. Development services for individuals, organizations and communities that strengthen the cultural infrastructure of our state would be gone,” Gavin said. “Funding for arts education programs serving nearly 195,000 students at 750 school sites would be eliminated.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Information scarce on ‘dark money’ group in Oklahoma superintendent campaign

    An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission....

    July 24, 2014

  • Medical examiner says inmate died of an accidental drug overdose

    The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a woman found dead in the Cleveland County jail Feb. 23 died of a drug overdose....

    July 24, 2014

  • Ride CART fare free on Ozone Alert Day

    Environmental officials have declared today as an Ozone Alert Day. Passengers ride fare free on Cleveland Area Rapid Transit on Ozone Alert Days....

    July 24, 2014

  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Arizona inmate dies two hours after execution begins

    PHOENIX — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S....

    July 24, 2014

  • Man injured in motorcycle wreck ID’d

    Norman police identified a man transported to Norman Regional Hospital’s emergency room after a two-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle and a car Wednesday....

    July 24, 2014

  • Wine, Organ and Compline at St. Thomas More

    St. Thomas More University Parish, 100 Stinson St., is hosting the Wine, Organ and Compline at 7 p.m. today. The series will begin with a wine and cheese gathering in the atrium, followed by an organ recital presented by guest organist ...

    July 24, 2014

  • 48 dead after Taiwan plane crash

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island today where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities were ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following persons were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Kenneth Leo Turk, 64, aggravated count of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol · Kelly Revonn Turner, 21, ...

    July 24, 2014