The National Endowment for the Arts says it cannot offer matching federal grants to Kansas this year because the state is no longer funding its own program.

Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed state aid to the Kansas Arts Commission, essentially leaving an agency with no budget or staff. He proposed fundraising be handled by a new non-government foundation and maintained the state would be eligible for NEA funding.

But Victoria Hutter, spokeswoman for NEA in Washington, told The Topeka Capital-Journal on Tuesday (http://bit.ly/qEHUQ ) that the state's decision to withdraw state aid to its arts commission prevented federal grant support in the fiscal year starting in
October.

In the past, Kansas invested about $700,000 annually to secure $1.3 million in external grants for arts programs scattered throughout the state.