by Gabe Bullard
The Louisville Metro Council’s Budget Committee heard from representatives of external agencies Wednesday.
The representatives asked the committee to restore or increase funding to their organizations in the mayor’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
Grants to social services, arts and housing organizations routinely change in the budget process. But with the economy down, many representatives said they needed the city dollars to continue funding crucial programs.
Fund for the Arts President Allan Cowen said city funding is the only way his agency can finance education initiatives.
“If there’s a year to do something for our young people, and if there’s a year to make sure those kids have field trips and they have support, this is the year to do it, because they won’t get it,” he said. “It’s not in the school’s budgets and the schools can’t afford it.”
Denise Troutman from the Center for Women and Families said her organization is facing a nearly 70% cut in funding in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
“There’s violence happening in our homes and there are 82 people in this city along with countless volunteers and a board committed to this and I know each and every one of you are. SO I’m asking you to restore the 70%, not even the more that we need,” she said.
The council has increased overall funding to external agencies in the last several budgets. Another public forum with the Budget Committee is scheduled for Monday, June 14th.