September Captains UpdaNewsletter: Nat'l Arts & Humanities Month, Federal Budget, Overtime & More

Some end-of-September federal legislative updates for you…
  • National Arts and Humanities Month: It is almost October, and that means it is almost National Arts and Humanities Month! President Obama has again issued a presidential proclamation marking the month. Please help share the news! J

    • Remember, too, to use #ShowYourArt on social media throughout the month of October to celebrate. The purpose of #ShowYourArt is to engage arts advocates on local, state, and national levels, and to bring awareness of National Arts and Humanities Month. In fact, each day we are highlighting a unique arts-related theme! I’m excited for 10/8, which is “Art in your town!” J

·         Events are also happening across the country, like this neat one combining NAHM and Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Garden City, NY J
·         Federal funding: The federal funding stalemate has broken! Congress passed a continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded until December 9th. The President signed it into law yesterday. The funding does include a slight across-the-board funding cut of half a percent.
o   When Congress returns after the elections, it is expected they will attempt to pass "mini-buses," which will combine a couple of appropriations bills together for passage. This scenario can still allow a year-end increase for the NEA, which we will continue to work towards with your help!
·         Overtime rule changes: This week, the House passed legislation to extend the time before implementation of the Department of Labor rules changes governing overtime pay eligibility. The vote was nearly party-line. We continue to expect implementation on Dec 1. Here again is the field memo we prepared to help with questions.
·         Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: Thanks to everyone who was able to sign the latest letter in support of full funding for the new block grant program that helps support well-rounded education that includes the arts! The coalition letter is helpful in the final appropriations discussions that will be underway from now until Dec 9. In total, 88 national and regional organizations, and 175 local and state organizations signed. This represents 48 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico! A copy is attached for your records.
·         Career and Technical Education (CTE): The Senate is still log-jammed on advancing this reauthorization. As you may recall, it passed 405-5 in the House earlier this month and includes the provision supporting the integration of arts and design skills into CTE programs. Champions Reps. Bonamici and Stefanik continue to work to try to get this enacted this year. We are hoping it might be one of the items considered post-election. We will keep you posted on action to take.
We will discuss all of the above and more on the next state captains call on October 8th at 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 PM CT/1:30 PM MT/12:30 PM PT). Hope everyone is looking forward to a nice weekend!  

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