Franson’s bill would limit arts spendingThe amount spent on art in state buildings should be limited, according to Representative Mary Franson, R-Alexandria.
By: Don Davis and Danielle Nordine, State Capitol Bureau, The Osakis Review
The amount spent on art in state buildings should be limited, according to Representative Mary Franson, R-Alexandria.
Currently, an appropriation for construction or alterations of state buildings can include up to 1 percent for works of art.
Franson wrote a bill that would limit that to the smaller of 1 percent or $100,000. It passed through a House committee Wednesday on a divided voice vote.
“I believe $100,000 is a reasonable limit,” Franson said. “With our economic problems we have to ask ourselves what is a necessity and what is a nicety.”
Franson originally proposed a bill that would repeal the law, but has since changed it to the cap. Amendments approved Wednesday also would exclude the state Capitol from the spending limit, along with artistic features that would improve the safety of a building.
Representative Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, who has worked on the issue in the past, said the law is reasonable as it is. She emphasized that using the funds for art is optional, not mandatory. The program also helps the arts community, she added.
Former Representative Phil Krinkie testified in favor of the bill, saying the state should “allow the private sector to develop and fund the arts.”
Krinkie, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, said he was in favor of the originally proposed repeal.
Sue Gens, director of the Minnesota State Arts Board, said the funds have been used in the past at locations including a rest area in Worthington, at state parks, the History Center and a number of colleges and veterans homes.
Franson’s bill now is headed to another House committee. There is no Senate companion to the bill.