It seems that as this summer’s oppressive heat subsides organizations angry with Gov. Brownback’s decisions are waking from a sun-induced daze.
Last spring saw a swarm of anti-Brownback sentiment over a host of different issues, most related to his handling of the state’s budget. One of the most popular causes against the governor was in reference to his decision to completely eliminate funding to state arts programs, costing local organizations almost $700,000 in state grants and over $1 million from national groups as well as effectively ending the Kansas Arts Commission. Despite resounding resistance to Brownback’s decision to cut such funding, including an overridden veto from the Kansas legislature, such changes have stood throughout summer without public demonstration.
Tuesday, however, Kansas Citizens for the Arts will hold a news conference from the capitol demanding that funding be restored in 2012. It will be the first such demonstration since this spring.
Additional rallies are planned for September, including what may be the largest held in Topeka in some time. On Sept. 16 a group called Kansans United in Voice and Spirit has been planned to take place on the Statehouse steps. Their complaints also address arts funding as well as funding restrictions against Planned Parenthood, abortion clinics, and the closure of SRS offices across the state.
Brownback’s office has largely been quiet on the issue, although his spokeswoman, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, said that some 11,000 new private-sector jobs and a $100 million year-end balance can be attributed to his approach to the budget.