End of Legislative Session Review

It was a sprint to the finish for this year’s legislative session that ended on June 9th, but the legislation agreed and the Governor signed a new budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 22 and FY 23. We’re here to summarize the legislative session, share the key budget numbers that relate to the arts & culture sector and share about what’s next for arts & culture advocacy.

A Final Review of Bills We Were Tracking

H.B. 6119, “An Act Concerning Arts, Culture, and Tourism Funding” looked to strengthen the arts, culture, and tourism sector in Connecticut by directing additional funds into the Tourism Fund, renaming the fund to better represent the full scope of the sector and ensuring equitable funding among arts, culture, and tourism initiatives. After passing through the Commerce Committee with strong testimonial support from the arts & culture sector, this bill did not move out of the Finance Committee and remains inactive.

S.B. 146 “An Act Authorizing Sports Wagering, Internet Gaming, Internet Lottery and Internet Keno” was another bill we were watching. This iteration of the bill didn’t make it to the floor, but the contents of the bill merged into H.B. 6451 “An Act Concerning the Authorization, Licensing and Regulation of Online Casino Gaming, Retail and Online Sports Wagering, Fantasy Contests, Keno and Online Sale of Lottery Tickets” that was signed into law by Governor Lamont. This will bring in new tax revenue and we will track how the legislation plans to allocate the new revenue in the future.

The Final State Budget

The budget was one of the last items decided during the legislative session and supports stable funding for the Tourism Fund as well as major new funding for the arts community. Here’s the breakdown:

FY 22FY 23Total
Tourism Fund$9.8M$3.1M$12.9M
Small Theaters$3M$3M$6M
Performing Arts Theaters$1.1M$763K$1.9M
Performing Arts Centers$2.5M$2.5M$5M
Flagship Producing Theaters$800K$520K$1.3M
Kids Free Summer$15M$0$15M
View the full budget and the implementer bill

There are also a number of related items to the culture sector as a whole that we’d like to highlight:

FY 22FY 23Total
Tourism Marketing$7.1M$7.9M$15M
Connecticut Humanities$20M$10.7M$30.7M
Children’s Museums$2.5M$2.5M$5M

In all, there’s over $92 million in funding for the creative sector over the next two fiscal years. We would like to thank all of our advocates for showing their support for the arts & culture industry during a time where the arts were needed most. It was an important legislative session for the recovery of the sector and the state as a whole.

What’s Next

There is still more advocacy to go! Visit our 1% for the arts page to learn more about what you can do at your local town level to support the arts through the American Rescue Plan funding coming to your local leadership.

If you would like to stay connected to CAA for future advocacy campaigns, updates on the creative sector and more, sign up for our emails, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or become a member!

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Connecticut Arts Alliance

The Connecticut Arts Alliance (CAA) was founded in 2005 as an advocacy organization to ensure that the arts remain central to life in Connecticut. The organization strives to promote and underscore the value of all achievements of the arts industry and all of the ways in which the arts improve daily life for residents of the State. Among its most visible programs are assisting with workshops for the annual Connecticut Arts Day at the Capitol organized by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and providing advocacy guidance and resources in concert with the Office of the Arts and regional arts service organizations. The organization works to foster public education and awareness of the arts, to increase funding for the arts, and to influence public funding decisions and actions that affect the arts.