Proposals would dissolve Mississippi Arts Commission into MDA

FILE PHOTO Mississippi State University Singers dance while a blues guitarist performs during a noon showcase of some musical acts at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., as part of the Mississippi Arts Commission's information arts day Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Artist Wyatt Waters was painting a water color of the blues performer who's music the students danced to. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi Arts Commission is at risk of losing its status as an independent state agency.

Bills by Republican lawmakers would dissolve the commission and give its duties to Mississippi Development Authority.

MDA is a larger agency that works on job creation and promotes tourism.

A sponsor of one bill is Senate Tourism Committee Chairwoman Lydia Chassaniol of Winona. She says she supports Republican Gov. Phil Bryant’s goal of consolidating agencies to try to save money.

Chassaniol was an Arts Commission board member in the 1990s. She says businesses looking to locate in Mississippi often inquire about arts and culture.

Senate Bill 2611 was sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee. House Bill 1325 was sent to two House committees. Tuesday is the deadline for the groups to debate both bills.

FILE PHOTO Gary Packwood directs the Mississippi State University Singers during a noon performance Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., as part of the Mississippi Arts Commission's arts day for legislators. Various musical groups played during the early afternoon as lawmakers and Capitol employees were treated to pig ear and smoked sausage sandwiches. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
FILE PHOTO Gary Packwood directs the Mississippi State University Singers during a noon performance Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., as part of the Mississippi Arts Commission’s arts day for legislators. Various musical groups played during the early afternoon as lawmakers and Capitol employees were treated to pig ear and smoked sausage sandwiches. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

 

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