Advocacy Alert: May 4

Federal Funding Legislation Clears Congress with Good News for Museums

Better late than never! Earlier today, Congress sent legislation finalizing Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations to the president’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law shortly. Despite very strict limits on total domestic spending, the legislation contains a number of small increases for programs that benefit our nation’s museums. Successes like this are only possible because of your year-round advocacy work: advocating from anywhere, attending Museums Advocacy Day, and securing record support from members of Congress.
See some key details of the omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 in the table below:

 Agency/Program  FY 2016 Current Funding  FY 2017 Omnibus
 IMLS Office of Museum Services  $31.3 million  $31.7 million
 National Endowment for the Humanities  $147.9 million  $149.8 million
 National Endowment for the Arts  $147.9 million  $149.8 million
 Smithsonian Institution  $840 million  $863 million
 State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices  $56.9 million  $58.4 million
 Civil Rights Movement sites  $8 million  $13 million
 Save America’s Treasures  $0  $5 million
 National Park Service Operations  $2.370 billion  $2.425 billion
 NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning  $62.5 million  $62.5 million
 NIH Science Education Partnership Awards  $18.5 million  $18.5 million
 NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training  $7.2 million  $7.5 million
“While these funding increases are modest, they are a significant victory in a very difficult environment, and museum advocates should be proud today,” said Alliance President and CEO Laura Lott. “I’m especially grateful for the work of our champions in Congress on both sides of the aisle. But there is no time for rest, as we continue to make the case in Congress on Fiscal Year 2018 funding.”

Act Now: Urge Senators to Support the Office of Museum Services
The process for determining funding levels for FY 2018 has already begun in earnest. After record-breaking support in the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is now circulating a companion letter to her Senate colleagues on behalf of the IMLS Office of Museum Services.

Urge Your Senators to Sign the Office of Museum Services Letter Today

These letters are a key measure of legislators’ support, and they are especially important now as federal funding for museums faces a direct threat in FY 2018. The deadline for Senators to sign this letter is Wednesday, May 17.
P.S. Want to do more to #SpeakUpforMuseums? Use our tools to make the case, and make a donation to support our urgent advocacy work on behalf of these agencies and all museums.