Governor’s Budget: Status Quo for NYSCA + $250,000 for ZBGA

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)

In the Aid to Localities Bill, NYSCA’s budget reflects the incorporation of the $4 million line item added last year to local assistance grants for Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) projects into the base to keep total funding for these grants at last year’s level of $35,635,000.

In the State Operations Bill, there is no change in the appropriation for NYSCA’s administrative costs of $4,119,000 or in the number of staff positions (28). However, the Governor recommends a new appropriation of $500,000 to give NYSCA the ability to solicit arts grants or donations.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

In the Capital Projects Bill, the Governor increases the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) by $19 million for a total of $153 million and increases the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program (ZBGA) by $250,000 for a total of $9,250,000. The ZBGA program provides general operating support which is not available to living collections institutions through NYSCA. The Executive Budget also recommends multipurpose budget lines of $20 million to fund state historic site protection and $18 million to fund state historic sites exterior restoration.

New York State Department of Economic Development (DED)

In the State Operations Bill, $4,740,000 is recommended by the Governor for tourism marketing which represents a reduction of $330,000 from the amount enacted in last year’s budget. Appropriation language permits these funds to be transferred to the Local Assistance Fund for the local tourism promotion matching grants program which is decreased this year by $170,000 to $3,815,000. The Governor also recommends $5 million this year for competitive funding for regional councils to compete for promotional advertisements.

Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC)

The Governor’s budget calls for $150 million in capital funds for the third round of REDC grants. Capital funds of $165 million are recommended in this year’s budget for the NY Works Economic Development Fund that supports job creation and retention and funds capital investment that facilitates business expansion and the attraction of new business.