It's awfully hard not to stand up and cheer when an elected official takes action to try to stop unnecessary spending by the government, and so I salute Oklahoma State Rep. Josh Cockroft who has filed House Bill 1895.
His bill would, over the next four years, eliminate state funding of the Oklahoma Arts Council. Now let me be clear, I salute his intent to save taxpayer money, but I strongly disagree with trying to pull the rug out from under the State Arts Council.
They only get $4-million a year, folks that's not even chump change out of the state budget. Cockroft doesn't see art as a core function of state government. But much of what that money goes for is directed at art education, and education is a core function.
This isn't money that's wasted on controversial art exhibits like we hear about nationally. Some of the money is used to help artists develop business opportunities.
I've seen how our artistic community has grown here in the metro over the last two decades. I drive around and observe how homegrown talent has beautified our city. And while I'm the last guy you'd call artsy, I'm smart enough to know our investment in the Arts Council is rippling through the economy and paying us back much more than we're spending on it.