NJ Official Fights For Arts Funding

New Jersey’s secretary of state is Regena Thomas, and she’s fighting for her department. “The secretary of state, appointed by Gov. James E. McGreevey, is in charge of promoting and preserving the arts, history and culture in New Jersey. But in the $23 billion state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the governor has proposed that her programs be largely abolished. The budget proposal calls for the $47 million allocated to her office to be cut by 87 percent. This will effectively shut down the State Council on the Arts, leaving New Jersey the only state without one, according to Ms. Thomas’s office. It will also mothball the Historical Commission and the New Jersey Cultural Trust, although, like the council, each would continue to exist in name.”