Status Report on RI Gov’t: Beaux Arts But No Budget
The temptation to contrast this RFP by the State of Rhode Island [PDF]
RFP # 7323535
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) requires a fiscal agent to administer the timely payment of honoraria, fees and travel expenses, under the direction of the State Arts Council.
with this report by the ProJo’s Katherine Gregg about the accomplishments of the General Assembly at the half way mark of the 2010 session is irresistable.
They spent a total of $7,488,011 between Jan. 1 and March 30 on their own operation, including staff.
They introduced 1,716 bills. They passed six new “public laws,” including matching House and Senate versions of bills to lift the state cap on new charter schools, provide new business loan guarantees from the state’s Industrial and Recreational Building Authority and name the Rhode Island Training School for a legislator who died last year: the revered Rep. Thomas Slater, D-Providence.
If you include the 130 resolutions “commemorating the 166th anniversary of Dominican Republic Independence,” for example, or declaring March as “Irish-American Heritage Month,” and the 33 measures reinstating lapsed corporate charters and allowing otherwise unauthorized people to perform marriage ceremonies, they have voted on 169 pieces of legislation.
Noticeably absent: any action on the 2010 Supplemental Budget, though the fiscal year is three quarters over and the G.A., who haranged the Governor to promptly prepare and submit it, has had the budget in hand since mid-December. (The Gov’s office advised today that the Supplemental Budget will be heard Wednesday evening in the Finance Committee.)
As for the position of Fiscal Agent for the Arts Council, while I am grateful that it has been thrown open to competitive bidding (I’ll let you know if I work up gratitude that the position is funded with federal tax dollars), it is a reminder that funding of the arts remains an item in the state budget. As the 2010 Supplemental Budget has not yet been acted upon, in part, due to the unpleasant decisions surrounding a shortage of revenue, and the 2011 budget is short $400 million, soliciting a fiscal manager to disburse funds for an arts program seems a little like ordering dessert when the wherewithal for the meal itself is lacking.