Posts tagged: Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
This one’s of interest mainly to readers in Spokane. From tomorrow’s paper:
OLYMPIA _ A controversial proposal to merge the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture with its Western Washington counterpart appears to be dead.
One of the state’s most powerful lawmakers said Thursday that the Senate will not be approving the plan, which was proposed in December as a cost-cutting move by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
“The bill is on my desk. It’s not going to be introduced in the Senate,” said Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane.
So it’s dead on arrival, a reporter asked.
“It is,” responded Brown.
The bad news: torpedoing the merger won’t necessarily shield the museum and its operations from state budget cuts. Gov. Chris Gregoire in December proposed cutting the MAC budget by $524,000 over the next two years, which is about a 13 percent cut. And the state’s budget picture is now believed to be much bleaker.
Stopping the merger, however, would keep the MAC as a distinct organization, separate from the Tacoma-based Washington State Historical Society.
Brown’s comments came on the same day that MAC officials were in Olympia, urging skeptical House lawmakers not to allow the merger or deep budget cuts.
“Simply saying that it’s going to be hard or that it would be impossible is falling on our deaf ears,” state Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, warned CEO Dennis Hession and development officer Lorna Walsh Thursday. “…We’re looking at just the most dire of budget circumstances.”
When Gregoire called for the $524,000 cut, state budget writers thought they faced a shortfall of
Gov. Chris Gregoire’s two-year budget plan, released Thursday, suggests closing a $5.7 billion budget shortfall with deep cuts.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest cuts, local cuts, and some new local spending:
-do away with cost-of-living raises for teachers and other school staffers for the next two years: $349 million.
-eliminate a variety of school pilot programs, including the reading corps, civics curriculum, and math helping corps: $23 million.
-”suspend” about a quarter of the money for class-size reduction: $178 million.
-across-the-board cuts of up to 13 percent at four-year colleges and 6 percent at community and technical colleges. The colleges can decide what to cut, although effects may include cutting faculty, cutting support staff and offering fewer classes. Savings: $342 million.
-doing away with faculty and staff cost-of-living raises at community and technical colleges: $33.4 million.
-do away with the Adult Day Health program, which serves about 1,900 elderly and developmentally disabled people: $20 million.
-reduce nursing home reimbursement rates by 5 percent: $46 million.
-shrink mental health funding for Regional Support Networks: $31 million.
-toughen accountability for welfare recipients and push them into jobs quicker: $30 million.
-stop buying vaccines for children not covered by Medicaid: $50 million.
-cut the state’s Basic Health Plan for the working poor by 42 percent and shrink the things it will cover.
-halt plans to let parents buy state-subsidized health coverage if they’re between 250 percent and 300 percent of poverty level. For a family of 4, that’s $53,000 to $63,600 per year. Savings: $6 million.
-eliminate General Assistance for the Unemployable, which provides health care and issues checks of up to $339 a month to thousands of people. Savings: $251 million.
-cut hospital reimbursement rates by 4 percent: $47 million.
-close 7 fish hatcheries: $7 million.
-close 13 state parks, plus other parks during off-peak seasons: $5 million.
-shortening probation and eliminating probation supervision for misdemeanors and low-risk felonies: $69 million.
-shrinking drug and alcohol treatment: $11 million.