A Northwest Iowa state senator spoke out yesterday about defunding cultural programs. Independent David Johnson of Ocheyedan in Osceola County left the Republican Party this summer. Johnson said he couldn’t support President Donald Trump as the party’s nominee. Johnson told the senate yesterday he couldn’t understand why the governor would want to cut funding to the Iowa Cultural Trust.
“Six million dollars gone out of that will get rid of the Iowa Arts Council budget and take away a lot of seed money from Clay and Dickinson counties. All the arts and cultural programs have been able to access 60 thousand-dollars since its inception.”
Johnson said the state funding has helped Clay and Dickinson raise much more money for the arts.
“That has leverage another 180 thousand-dollars, three-to-one, three-to-one, pretty significant of private contributions, and another half-million dollars in philanthropic work.”
The state is facing a 110-million-dollar budget deficit. Governor Branstad has presented the legislature with a long list of budget cuts to make up the difference. They include reduced funding for the arts and higher education, as well as human services and corrections.