Gov. Mark Sanford issued 107 vetoes to the state budget, totaling more that $300 million. Art programs are among the areas affected, with more than $1.2 million cutting statewide arts services.
The S.C. Arts Commission, an autonomous state agency, is on high alert after the announcement. According to a statement from Executive Director Ken May, the cuts will cripple the agency. “This cut eliminates all state funds for grants, programs and services and more than 70 percent of our personnel. The cut also eliminates federal stimulus funds earmarked for grants to local arts organizations. The vetoed funds support arts curriculum and artist residencies in our schools; plays, concerts, dance performances and exhibitions in our communities; and thousands of jobs statewide.”
The Legislature will reconvene on June 15. A two-thirds vote is required to override the governor’s vetoes. May encourages concerned citizens to contact their state legislators.