Kansas Senate votes to save state Arts Commission

TOPEKA, Kansas - The Kansas Senate has voted to save the state Arts Commission as a government agency.

Senators voted 24-13 on Wednesday to reject Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to convert the commission to a private nonprofit group. The conversion would have saved the state about $575,000 annually.

Brownback issued an executive reorganization order to make the change July 1. The Senate's action killed the order.

The governor's plan still would have provided $200,000 to the new nonprofit through the State Historical Society.

But arts advocates strongly opposed the move, arguing it would have led to the loss of $778,000 in federal arts funds.

Brownback's administration said the nonprofit arts group wouldn't have lost the federal funds and could have made up the decline in state aid through private fundraising.

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