Senate OKs FY2011 budget, sparing art council

ATLANTA -- The Senate has approved a $17.8 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

After weeks of struggling to fill a $785 shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the Senate approved the budget on Wednesday in a 49-2 vote.

The amended budget restores $890,000 in state money to keep the Georgia Council for the Arts afloat.

The council is still taking a hit. Gone are about $1.7 million in state grants to local arts and cultural organizations.

The Senate's spending blueprint must now be reconciled with the one that has cleared the House.

The House, meanwhile, agreed on Wednesday to an amended $17.4 billion budget for the current fiscal year. It now heads to Gov. Sonny Perdue for his signature.