From The Associated Press, April 20, 2010
Georgia’s arts council was granted a reprieve on Tuesday from the state Senate.
The state House had targeted the arts panel for elimination, a move which arts advocates
said would imperil hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants. On Tuesday,
Senate budget writers restored $890,000 in state money to keep the Georgia Council
for the Arts afloat for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The money was included
in the $17.8 billion budget proposal that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The council is still taking a hit. Gone are about $1.7 million in state grants to
local arts and cultural organizations. Georgia would have been the only state in
the nation without a federally recognized arts council if the panel had been eliminated,
making the state ineligible for more than $800,000 in federal National Endowment
for the Arts grants. Artists rallied at the state Capitol on Monday urging legislators
to restore arts money. State Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jack Hill
said legislators heard an earful on the arts issue. “I think it made the difference,”
the Republican from Reidsville said. The full state Senate is expected to take up
the budget on Wednesday. They must then reconcile their spending blueprint with
the one that cleared the House.
A special thank you to Thomas Cott and the Business Week for this bit of worrisome news.