Our work as advocates takes place not only locally, but also at the state and federal levels. This year we are tracking the following bills and legislation:
In California we are tracking a numbers of bills, including:
Senate Bill 916 – the Theatre and Dance Act (TADA!) to establish single-subject teaching credentials for dance and theatre, moving the state from 13 to 15 specific credentials. California is only one of two states that does not have this credential already in place.
On March 1, Arts for LA released a joint letter of support (with California Alliance for Arts Education, Arts Orange County, and California Arts Advocates) to the sponsor of the bill, Senator Ben Allen.
SB 916 will be heard first in the Senate Education Committee on March 9. If it passes it will move on to the Senate Appropriations Committee and from there to the Senate floor. If the Senate approves the bill it will move on to the Assembly where the same process will be repeated. If the bill passes in the Assembly it will be sent to the Governor for his signature. And then, hopefully, it will become the law!
If you represent an organization you can send a letter of support to Senator Allen’s office at Tiffany.Mok@sen.ca.gov Be sure to include a logo from your organization and a signature so the endorsement can be listed.
If you’re speaking on behalf of yourself, Arts forLA will contact you when the legislation is heard by a senator or assemblymember who represents your district in a committee. (Not everyone will be contacted since only certain members belong to those committees and members pay attention to letters sent by their constituents.) Everyone will be contacted when the bill comes to the senate or assembly floor, and if/when it is sent to the Governor.
If you’re a teacher and want to communicate your support to your union representative or leadership, that would be particularly powerful testimony. You can do that on your own or attend a webinar the California Alliance for Arts Education will be hosting with California Dance Teachers Association (CDEA) and California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) on March 24 at 5:30 PM.
Senate Bill 476 - Organized Camps. Redefines organized camps and separates them into two types: resident camps and day camps. Requires organized day camps to follow existing public health and safety codes and regulations.
Specifies that the definition of an organized camp does not include the following: ...Programs offered by museums, zoos, cities, counties, special districts, sports training organizations, gymnastics studios, theatre groups, or other physical education-based organizations.
When Arts for LA travels to DC this year, the major ask is around increasing the NEA budget from $148 to $155 million in FY2017, and to gauge their interest in funding the agency at $1 per capita (currently it is .46 cents).
Locally, we are also tracking S 2510 Arts Require Timely Service Act aka ARTS Act of 2016.
This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to adjudicate O & P visa petitions (nonimmigrant visas for aliens with extraordinary ability or achievement, and athletes, artists, and entertainers) within 14 days after receiving such petitions and related documents.
This will be important for Los Angeles' 2024 Olympic bid.
National arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts has a comprehensive breakdown of federal legislation affecting the arts in their Legislative Issue Center.