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Legislation for councils

April 10, 2012 | By Federal/State Partnership Staff

Gubernatorial appointments to the board | Reporting to NEH | Board membership | General operating support grant funding formula | Definition of the humanities


The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965 is the legislation under which the National Endowment for the Humanities and the state humanities councils operate. The legislation about state humanities councils is Sec. 956 (sec. 7)(f)(1-8). Other pertinent sections are:


U.S. Code: Title 20, Chapter 26, Subchapter 1
Sec. 956 (f)(1-7) — State Humanities Councils
from The Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute

(f) Grants-in-aid programs; designation of State administrative agency; matching funds; applications and plans; allotments; cost limitations; grants to regional groups; non-Federal funding; definitions; suspension of grants; single entity limitation

(1) The Chairperson, with the advice of the National Council on the Humanities, is authorized, in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, to establish and carry out a program of grants-in-aid in each of the several States in order to support not more than 50 per centum of the cost of existing activities which meet the standards enumerated in subsection (c) of this section, and in order to develop a program in the humanities in such a manner as will furnish adequate programs in the humanities in each of the several States.

(2) (A) Whenever a State desires to designate or to provide for the establishment of a State agency as the sole agency for the administration of the State plan, such State shall designate the humanities council in existence on the date the State agency is established as the State agency, and shall match from State funds a sum equal to 50 per centum of that portion of Federal financial assistance received by such State under this subsection which is described in the first sentence of paragraph (4) relating to the minimum State grant, or 25 per centum of the total amount of Federal financial assistance received by such State under this subsection, whichever is greater, for the fiscal year involved. In any State in which the State selects the option described in this subparagraph, the State shall submit, before the beginning of each fiscal year, an application for grants and accompany such application with a plan which the Chairperson finds -

(i) designates or provides for the establishment of a State agency (hereinafter in this section eferred to as the ''State agency'') as the sole agency for the administration of the State plan;

(ii) provides that the chief executive officer of the State will appoint new members to the State humanities council designated under the provisions of this subparagraph, as vacancies occur as a result of the expiration of the terms of members of such council, until the chief executive officer has appointed all of the members of such council;

(iii) provides, from State funds, an amount equal to 50 per centum of that portion of Federal financial assistance received by such State under this subsection which is described in the first sentence of paragraph (4) relating to the minimum State grant, or 25 per centum of the total amount of Federal financial assistance received by such State under this subsection, whichever is greater, for the fiscal year involved;

(iv) provides that funds paid to the State under this subsection will be expended solely on programs approved by the State agency which carry out the objectives of subsection (c) of this section and which are designed to bring the humanities to the public;

(v) provides assurances that State funds will be newly appropriated for the purpose of meeting the requirements of this subparagraph;

(vi) provides that the State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Chairperson may require, including a description of the progress made toward achieving the goals of the State plan;

(vii) provides -

(I) assurances that the State agency has held, after reasonable notice, ublicmeetings in the State to allow scholars, interested organizations, and the public to present views and make recommendations regarding the State plan; and

(II) a summary of such recommendations and of the response of the State agency to such recommendations; and

(viii) contains -

(I) a description of the level of participation during the most recent preceding year for which information is available by scholars and scholarly organizations in programs receiving financial assistance under this subsection;

(II) for the most recent preceding year for which information is available, a description of the extent to which the programs receiving financial assistance under this subsection are available to all people and communities in the State; and

(III) a description of programs receiving financial assistance under this subsection that exist or are being developed to secure wider participation of scholars and scholarly organizations identified under subclause (I) of this clause or that address the availability of the humanities to all people or communities identified under subclause (II) of this clause.

No application may be approved unless the accompanying plan satisfies the requirements specified in this subsection.

(B) In any State in which the chief executive officer of the State fails to submit an application under subparagraph (A), the grant recipient in such State shall -

(i) establish a procedure which assures that six members of the governing body of such grant recipient shall be appointed by an appropriate officer or agency of such State, except that in no event may the number of such members exceed 25 per centum of the total membership of such governing body; and

(ii) provide, from any source, an amount equal to the amount of Federal financial assistance received by such grant recipient under this subsection for the fiscal year involved.

(3) Whenever a State selects to receive Federal financial assistance under this subsection for any fiscal year under paragraph (2)(B), any appropriate entity desiring to receive such assistance shall submit an application for such assistance at such time as shall be specified by the Chairperson. Each such application shall be accompanied by a plan which the Chairperson finds - [see "reporting"]

(A) provides assurances that the grant recipient will comply with the requirements of paragraph (2)(B);

(B) provides that funds paid to the grant recipient will be expended solely on programs which carry out the objectives of subsection (c) of this section;

(C) establishes a membership policy which is designed to assure broad public representation with respect to programs administered by such grant recipient;

(D) provides a nomination process which assures opportunities for nomination to membership from various groups within the State involved and from a variety of segments of the population of such State, and including individuals who by reason of their achievement, scholarship, or creativity in the humanities, are especially qualified to serve;

(E) provides for a membership rotation process which assures the regular rotation of the membership and officers of such grant recipient;

(F) establishes reporting procedures which are designed to inform the chief executive officer of the State involved, and other appropriate officers and agencies, of the activities of such grant recipient;

(G) establishes procedures to assure public access to information relating to such activities;

(H) provides that such grant recipient will make reports to the Chairperson, in such form, at such times, and containing such information, as the Chairperson may require, including a description of the progress made toward achieving the goals of the plan;

(I) provides -

(i) assurances that the grant recipient has held, after reasonable notice, public meetings in the State to allow scholars, interested organizations, and the public to present views and make recommendations regarding the plan; and

(ii) a summary of such recommendations and of the response of the grant recipient to such recommendations; and

(J) contains -

(i) a description of the level of participation during the most recent preceding year for which information is available by scholars and scholarly organizations in programs receiving financial assistance under this subsection;

(ii) for the most recent preceding year for which information is available, a description of the extent to which the programs receiving financial assistance under this subsection are available to all people and communities in the State; and

(iii) a description of programs receiving financial assistance under this subsection that exist or are being developed to secure wider participation of scholars and scholarly organizations identified under clause (i) of this subparagraph or that address the availability of the humanities to all people or communities identified under clause (ii) of this subparagraph.

No application may be approved unless the accompanying plan satisfies the requirements specified in this subsection.

(4) Of the sums available to carry out this subsection for any fiscal year, each State and each grant recipient which has a plan approved by the Chairperson shall be allotted at least $200,000. If the sums appropriated are insufficient to make the allotments under the preceding sentence in full, such sums shall be allotted among such States and grant recipients in equal amounts. In any case where the sums available to carry out this subsection for any fiscal year are in excess of the amount required to make the allotments under the first sentence of this paragraph -

(A) 34 per centum of the amount of such excess for such fiscal year shall be available to the Chairperson for making grants under this subsection to States and regional groups and entities applying for such grants;

(B) 44 per centum of the amount of such excess for such fiscal year shall be allotted in equal amounts among the States and grant recipients which have plans approved by the Chairperson; and

(C) 22 per centum of the amount of such excess for such fiscal year shall be allotted among the States and grant recipients which have plans approved by the Chairperson in amounts which bear the same ratio to such excess as the population of the State for which the plan is approved (or, in the case of a grant recipient other than a State, the population of the State in which such grant recipient is located) bears to the population of all the States.

(5) (A) The amount of each allotment to a State for any fiscal year under this subsection shall be available to each State or grant recipient, which has a plan or application approved by the Chairperson in effect on the first day of such fiscal year, to pay not more than 50 per centum of the total cost of any project or production described in paragraph (1). The amount of any allotment made under paragraph (4) for any fiscal year -

(i) which exceeds $125,000, but

(ii) which does not exceed 20 per centum of such allotment, shall be available, at the discretion of the Chairperson, to pay up to 100 per centum of the cost of programs under this subsection if such programs would otherwise be unavailable to the residents of that State.

(B) Any amount allotted to a State under the first sentence of paragraph (4) for any fiscal year which is not obligated by the State agency or grant recipient prior to sixty days prior to the end of the fiscal year for which such sums are appropriated shall be available to the Chairperson for making grants to regional groups.

(C) Funds made available under this subsection shall not be used to supplant non-Federal funds.

(D) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term ''regional group'' means any multistate group, whether or not representative of contiguous States.

(E) For purposes of paragraph (4)(B), the term ''State'' and the term ''grant recipient'' include, in addition to the several States of the Union, only those special jurisdictions specified in section 952(g) of this title which have a population of 200,000 or more, according to the latest decennial census.

(6) All amounts allotted or made available under paragraph (4) for a fiscal year which are not granted to any entity during such fiscal year shall be available to the National Endowment for the Humanities for the purpose of carrying out subsection (c) of this section.

(7) Whenever the Chairperson, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, finds that -

(A) a group or grant recipient is not complying substantially with the provisions of this subsection;

(B) a State agency or grant recipient is not complying substantially with terms and conditions of its State plan or grant recipient application approved under this subsection; or

(C) any funds granted to any group or State agency or grant recipient under this subsection have been diverted from the purposes for which they are allotted or paid, the Chairperson shall immediately notify the Secretary of the Treasury and the group, State agency, or grant recipient with respect to which such finding was made that no further grants will be made under this subsection to such group, State agency, or grant recipient until there is no longer a default or failure to comply or the diversion has been corrected, or, if the compliance or correction is impossible, until such group, State agency, or grant recipient repays or arranges the repayment of the Federal funds which have been improperly diverted or expended.

(8) Except as provided in the third sentence of paragraph (4), and paragraphs (5) and (6), the Chairperson may not make grants under this subsection to more than one entity in any State.


§ 952. Definitions

(a) The term "humanities" includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism, and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.

(g) The term "State" includes, in addition to the several States of the Union, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.