Sep 12, 2013 6:39 PM by Chris Welty

Funding Could Change for Non-Government Organizations

One state representative is looking to eliminate funding for non-government organizations better known as NGO's.

Representative Dee Richard, of Thibodaux wants to re-direct that state money to fund higher education. Richard is considering a constitutional amendment that would require NGO's to get funding from another source other than state government. This would ultimately have to be brought to a public vote.

The idea of eliminating funding isn't sitting well with some.

"I always have to scratch my head about these efforts," said Executive Director of Acadiana Center for the Arts Gerd Wuestemann. He's worried about the potential fallout if NGO funding is eliminated. Though ACA doesn't receive direct state funding, it would lose money funneled in from the Louisiana Division of the Arts.

"We often perform services for art & culture, tourism and social services for pennies on the dollar because we do it with volunteers and passion for the cause. We want to serve our communities," said Weustemann.

State Representative Dee Richard wants to shift money from NGO's to fund higher education, but Wuestemann says NGO's should not be punished.

"It's not an either or decision. It's not should we fund higher education because we should fund it, but we need to take care of everything else from roads, fire, police, arts & culture, NGO's and social services," said Weustemann.

Representative Richard says, "They're not a government entity. They should service themselves as a business if that's what they are."

Chris Welty



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