Florida Legislation Cuts the Arts Even More


Governor Rick Scott signing bill. (Photo: floridapolitics.com)

Georgia Sullivan, Reporter

Governor Rick Scott and Florida legislators have spent $88.7 billion of Florida tax dollars this year, much more than the spending numbers from previous years. To compensate for designating more money to prisons and toll roads, they cut the state’s grant program for non-profits like museums, science centers, theaters, etc. State funding for arts and culture has dropped to an all time low of 0.003% of the available $88.7 billion budget. That means the usual amount is down from $25 million to just $2.6 million. Arts funding has been on a steady decline for years, but this is the most significant difference in spending since Governor Scott’s predecessor’s $70 billion budget.

Such drastic cuts to the arts will be felt state-wide. The popular Orlando Shakespeare Theater will receive only 6% of what they were expecting – that’s $9,606 instead of $150,000. The Maitland Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center will also receive only 6% of what it qualified for as well, which is a mere $5,800. Many other places will experience this extreme lack of financial government support, but luckily most non-profits have multiple other sources of raising money for themselves.