The governor and lieutenant governor have put forward their plans and suggestions for cuts in our arts funding and tourism marketing. Citizens upset with the proposed cuts made their voices heard by staging a protest on the Capitol steps. In today's tough economic times, with our colleges and public health programs facing extreme budget decreases, it would be very easy to discount arts funding as an outdated luxury.
But as a state that markets itself to the world based on our culture, our music and arts are anything but a luxury. Our Louisiana culture is a necessity. We understand the need to prioritize and budget our financial resources appropriately. The health and care of the people of Louisiana should be at the top of that list. But if dramatic cuts are needed to our arts programs and the programs that feed Louisiana tourism, we want to be certain that those funds are reapportioned responsibly.