August 3, 2017
The House Appropriations Committee recently approved the FY 2018 Interior Department appropriations bill by a vote of 30-21. This bill provides funding for both the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $145 million each. This reflects a decrease of $5 million from last fiscal year, but due to the elimination of a special initiative, the line item for the state humanities councils was able to be increased by $2 million.
This is very good news, but it does only represent one step in many that still need to take place before the FY 2018 federal budget is approved. It remains unclear how the appropriations process will play out before the end of the federal fiscal year September 30. The contacts our supporters have made in support of Oklahoma Humanities has resonated with Congress; the report language for the bill states that the committee “...recognizes the State Humanities Councils for the scope and reach of public humanities programming in Congressional districts across the nation, which serve rural areas, promote family literacy, and support cultural tourism that contributes to local economies.”
We will continue to share news of the appropriations process and thank you all for your support!
Ann Thompson, Executive Director