The Texas Cultural Trust thanks the many Texans and supporting partners who participated in protecting the arts and arts access during the 87th Legislative Session. Thank you for protecting the one Fine Arts credit requirement for high school graduation; successfully restoring Cultural District funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA); and encouraging the renewal of funding for the Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (MIIIP). Though the session concluded on May 31, 2021, the Texas legislature will reconvene at least once more this year for special session(s).
SB 1 would have removed $4 million dollars in Cultural District funding for TCA. Funding for the program was renewed, in full, while in conference.
HB 434 sought to remove the (1) Fine Arts credit from high school graduation requirements. This bill did not advance to the next step in the legislative process thanks to a collaborative opposition of the bill led by Director of Programs Jenny Parry. The staff and board of the Trust extend a special thank you to Board Member Lauren Anderson, TAEA, TDEA, TETA, TMAC, and TMEA for testifying in opposition to this bill.
SB 473, another bill seeking to remove the one fine arts credit required for high school graduation, was not scheduled for a hearing within the Senate Public Education Committee following the hearing on HB 434.
A hearing for HB 1994, a similar bill to HB 434, was removed from the House Public Education Committee schedule.
HB 2854 and HB 2417, legislation relating to the creation of Texas film and entertainment industry incentives, failed to pass committee. Though Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (MIIIP) funding was removed from the House budget, SB 1 ultimately secured an appropriation of $45 million for MIIIP.
HB 2230, legislation proposing a study on incorporating fine arts into public school foundation curriculum, was received favorably and voted out of the House Public Education Committee but adjourned sine die.