National Legislation Affects the Arts

10/18/01

National Legislation Affects the Arts:

1. New Airline Security Measures may affect musicians and their instruments.
2. NEA funding increase nears final stage.
3. Education Appropriations Boost Arts Education $.

1. New Airline Security Measures may affect musicians and their instruments.
In spite of the terrorist actions, the business of the nation goes on. Congress plans to act quickly on its legislative agenda next week, particularly the Aviation Security measure. Congress continues to consider legislation that will instruct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to put in place new air security measures. Proposed restrictions on carry-on items may significantly impact the ability of musicians to travel with instruments.

Senate Bill Completed: The Senate version of the aviation security bill, S. 1447, passed unanimously last Thursday, October 11, and did not include specific restrictions on carry-on luggage. The proposed language was dropped when the FAA issued an emergency security directive with similar language, limiting carry-on items to one piece of luggage and one personal item. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) entered a statement into the Congressional Record on behalf of the music community, saying “Limitations on carry-on bags should not put an undue burden on musicians, consistent with the requirements of safety. I am certain that we can make it clear to those charged with the detailed administration of air safety policies that there is obviously a rule of reason and practicality to be observed.”

House Action Ahead: While there are not specific limitations in the Senate bill, House lawmakers are considering language that would specifically restrict carry-on items. Furthermore, we remain concerned that the FAA’s development of emergency directives and long-term regulatory requirements will not take into account the concerns of the music industry. As the aviation security bill moves forward during the week of October 22, please communicate with both the House and Senate.

The American Symphony Orchestra League requests that musicians contact your Senators and Representative by phone or fax with the following message:

The orchestra industry supports efforts to improve the safety of airline personnel and travelling passengers.
As new FAA regulations are developed, we must preserve opportunities for musical commerce.
Oppose any proposals that would eliminate the transportation of musical instruments in-cabin.
We urge you to write a letter to the FAA ensuring that the music community will have a prominent role during rule-making.
For contact information for your members of Congress, visitwww.congress.org.

THANK YOU: Hill offices are responding favorably to the many letters and phone calls from orchestras. If you have not yet done so, please communicate with your members of Congress in both the House and Senate, andfax a copy to Heather Watts in the American Symphony Orchestra League’s DC office at (202) 776-0224.

2. NEA Increase in Final 2002 Bill
As Congress works through the thirteen appropriations bills funding the federal government in 2002, the Interior Appropriations Bill, with $115.234 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), is the first to emerge from a House-Senate conference committee. On October 10, the agreement was sent to Congress for final approval with the presidentÕs signature to follow. Votes are expected shortly in the House and Senate on final passage of the FY02 money bill.

Because both the House and Senate had passed legislation earlier in the summer with a $10 million increase for the NEA, the outcome was not at issue in the conference committee. The House passed the additional funding in June in a floor amendment adopted by a vote of 221-193. The Senate included the same increase in the bill drafted by the Senate Appropriations Committee prior to floor votes. Of the $115 million for the NEA, $17 million is designated by Congress for Challenge America program spending.

The House floor amendment and the Senate bill, as well, also increased appropriations for the Office of Museum Services from $24.9 million in FY01 to $26.9 million, the amount in the final conference committee measure. Only the funding level for the National Endowment for the Humanities was at issue. The House had voted to increase the NEH funds from $120 million to $123.5 million in 2002. The Senate legislation boosted the humanities funding even higher, to $125.5 million. In the end, the conferees split the difference, with the humanities endowment set at $124.5 million in the conference agreement.

3. Education Appropriations Boost Arts Education Dollars
There is $30 million in both the House and Senate education appropriations bills for arts education, a $2 million increase above FY01. The House approved its version of the money measure on October 12. The Senate vote is expected to follow soon. The presidentÕs FY02 budget set arts education funding at zero. Apart from funds for the Kennedy CenterÕs arts education programs (House: $6 million; Senate $5.6 million) and Very Special Arts (House: $7 million; Senate $6.65 million), the arts education dollars, which go through the U.S. Department of Education, will support such activities as

the development and implementation of curriculum frameworks for arts education;
the development of model pre-service and in-service professional development programs for arts educators and other instructional staff;
specific instruction in music, art, theater and dance;
the development of model arts education assessments based on high standards; and
supporting model projects and programs to integrate arts education into the regular elementary and secondary school curriculum.
In its report on the bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee notes, “The Committee is aware that recent data and empirical evidence indicate that specific instruction in music, art, and dance improves the success of K-12 students.”

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