Monday, January 11, 2010

State Layoffs Averted; Local Institutions Still Struggling

The Legislature approved table gaming legislation last week, averting Gov. Ed Rendell's threatened lay-off of 995 state employees. You can read the Inquirer's story about the final deal here.

The ax may not have fallen (this time), but cultural institutions in the region continue to struggle due to cuts in state and local funding. In two rather random examples:
* Battleship New Jersey, located in Camden, NJ, announced last week that it was laying off 12 of its 19 staff and cutting back hours, because state contributions and overall income have plummeted.
* The Mummers Museum is struggling to find funds to replace the $54,000 per year subsidy the city of Philadelphia cut during its own budget crisis.

Of course, financial uncertainty is not new for public history or other cultural institutions, but it remains to be seen whether the economic crisis will force any of these institutions to shut their doors for good.

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