Advocacy Alert: America 250 - Ohio Commission
The following is from our friends at the America 250 - Ohio Commission:
Dear museum friends,
The question we are often asked is: Will the Commission have grant funds to support statewide initiatives for the nation’s 250th anniversary? The largest portion of the requested funding would provide grants to local communities and local organizations in support of local initiatives.
We feel like we have had strong support for our budget request. Governor DeWine highlighted the work of America 250-Ohio in his second inaugural remarks and then backed it up by recommending funding the Commission at $5.8 million in Fiscal Year 2024 and $8.1 million in FY 2025. I provided budget testimony in February before the House Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education and told them of the Commission’s intention to provide local grant funds for America 250-Ohio initiatives in the lead up to 2026. The message seemed to resonate with the state legislators on the subcommittee. In fact, I was asked by one legislator if this was enough funding.
So, we are greatly concerned that the House Finance Committee has recommended reducing almost $6.5 million from what Gov. DeWine allocated for the America 250-Ohio Commission over these next two years. While the Committee’s proposed changes to the Commission’s appropriation ($2.5 million and $5 million in FY 24-25) are an increase from the Commission’s initial funding this current year, the House Finance Committee changes represent a 46.5% reduction from what Gov. DeWine recommended.
The Commission is charged with engaging all 88 counties in the celebration of the nation’s upcoming anniversary. If the Commission’s work is to have impact across the entire state, in every county, city, and small town, we must ensure the Commission has the resources to get the job done–and done well. Planning for America’s 250th and grants to fund that work must be done soon. If the legislature waits until 2026 to fund the Commission adequately, it will be far too late.
Will you help restore this funding by reaching out to House members before the House votes on the budget bill (Substitute House Bill 33) before sending it to the Ohio Senate? A list of House Finance Committee members is provided below.
The Ask: Please restore funding for the Ohio Commission for the U.S. Semiquincentennial (Line 360-401 within the Ohio History Connection line items) to the level Gov. DeWine recommended: $5,844,000 in FY 24 and $8,150,000 in FY 25.
Chairman: Rep. Jay Edwards, 614-466-2158, [email protected]
Vice Chair: Rep. Jeff LaRe, 614-466-8100, [email protected]
Ranking Member: Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney, 614-466-3350, [email protected]
Thank you for your support of America 250-Ohio!
Ohio Commission for the U.S. Semiquincentennial