Senate budget adds money for arts

ATLANTA -- A state Senate panel has restored funding for the Georgia Council for the Arts.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a $17.8 billion budget that includes money the House had stripped from the arts council. The council will still see a steep cut in its budget, but it will not be eliminated, as the House had wanted.

Elimination of the council could have meant the loss of more than $800,000 federal National Endowment for the Arts grants for Georgia.

On Monday, several hundred artists protested outside the Capitol arguing that arts funding is critical to the state's economy.