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Subject: Conference negotiations on IMS,NEH, NEA complete

Conference negotiations on IMS,NEH, NEA complete

From: Sarah Z. Rosenberg <sarahaic>
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 1995
Last night, a conference committee of House and Senate members
reached agreement on all but one issue (an unrelated environmental
program) in a compromise version of the FY 1996 Interior
Appropriations bill.  The compromise version sets funding levels for
FY 1996  as follows: IMS $21 million; NEH $110 million; and NEA
$99.5 million for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1995.  All
three are considerably lower than last year's appropriation, but far
higher than we expected.

The conference committee also removed an important and highly
problematic, provision from the House which conditioned NEA
appropriations on the passage of a separate reauthorization bill
this year.  With this deletion the cultural agencies can operate
through 1996 without a new authorization bill. The Jesse Helms
language which bars NEA grants  from funding projects which "depict
or describe in a patently offensive way, sexual or excretory
activities or organs" or which denigrate the objects or beliefs of
the adherents of a particular religion " remains in effect.  While
these restrictions are not likely to affect museum grants, they
raise serious constitutional questions.

Next, the compromise bill will be voted on by the full House and the
full Senate, probably on or before Wednesday Sept 27.  If you have
not written to your member of congress in september, now is the time
to act.  the message is simple urge them to vote for the compromise
bill to fund the IMS, NEA, AND NEH.  Your representatives and
senators can be reached by phone through the capitol switchboard at
202-225-3121.

Please act now.  This is the last time we will call on you this
year.  Many thanks for all the other letters you sent and phone call
made. Best regards,

Sarah Z. Rosenberg

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:28
                Distributed: Sunday, September 24, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-28-001
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 20 September, 1995

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