"An Act repealing statutes that relate to art works in public buildings and facilities and that require a set percentage of construction costs to be spent on art."
Alaska's "Percent for Art in Public Places" program originated in 1975 with the requirement that a percent of state capital expenditures for public buildings and facilities be set aside to acquire works of art for display in those facilities (Alaska Statute 35.27).
My intent in introducing HB 215 was to address the fiscal aspect of the program; the original version repealed the percent for art program. The committee substitute for HB 215 provides 1% for art from the first $10 million of the total construction costs, and reduces it to ½% thereafter. Additionally, the 1% would only apply to state funding sources, such as general funds or general obligation bonds.
At this time, a mechanism for maintenance doesn't exist. This bill sets aside 5% of the percent for art, placing it into the Art in Public Places fund to ensure works of art can be maintained in good condition. The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) would receive requests for maintenance, facilitate coordination of the repairs, and maintain a database of all artwork that is owned by the state.
Furthermore, annual reporting to ASCA will be required by those agencies subject to the Art in Public Places program. Required reporting will provide: the amount of state funding for the project, the percent set aside for art; the total cost of art, the title, artist, etc. The ASCA will have this information for monitoring works of art and the annual amount allocated to the percent for art program through new construction. Annually, the ASCA will prepare a report to the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee.
Additionally, this legislation strengthens the preference for Alaskan artists.
In the House State Affairs Committee, a member removed the long-standing reduced percentage for rural schools that allowed for a lesser percentage to compensate for the significantly higher construction costs for rural schools. On the House floor, the percentage for rural schools was amended back to one-half a percent.
I appreciate your consideration of this legislation.