Status Update | FY 2020 Wisconsin Arts Board Grants

As you may know, Governor Evers' proposed biennial budget included an increase for the Arts Board of $143,800 ($71,900 in each year of the biennium).  This would have allowed the Arts Board to make its required match of partnership agreement funds received from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for both FY 2019 (the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019) and FY 2020 (the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2019).  Unfortunately, the Governor's proposal was eliminated in the legislature's Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) and was not re-inserted in the State Assembly or State Senate.  This means a match for both fiscal years is still required.

The good news is there is another way to obtain the match.  The JCF is authorized in state statutes to periodically hold what is called a 13.10 meeting to address budgetary challenges faced by state agencies.  The Arts Board has made a 13.10 request of $36,800.00, which includes the actual match amounts still required for FY 2019 ($13,100.00) and FY 2020 ($23,700.00).

Here is how the Arts Board's request fulfills the 13.10 Statutory Requirements:

This request meets the statutory criteria in 13.101(3)(a) in that:

  1. It is an emergency request to remedy a budgetary shortfall.
  2. No other funds are available to cover the costs beyond the appropriation.
  3. The supplemental appropriation requested is for the express purpose of fulfilling the obligations of the grant program.

What is the bottom line?  The Arts Board will not finalize its 2020 budget until this match situation is rectified.  Why?  If the JCF fund does not fund the 13.10 request, the Arts Board will have to return $36,800.00 to the NEA.

In related news, the Department of Administration (DOA) is working to confirm the amount of federal funds that may be available to carry forward from FY 2019 (if any) to FY 2020.  It has been past practice to use such federal carry forward to supplement the Creative Communities grant program.  We anticipate that this information will be released at the same time that the JCF votes on WAB's requests.

The WAB thanks its grant recipients and partners around the state for their patience with the granting process and timeline.