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      ASU arts center survives House budget proposal

      This field is the site of the proposed fine arts center

      Georgia's budget is closer to getting passed with big bucks for Albany State University.

      Albany State officials say they're cautiously optimistic that the college will get $1.8 million dollars in the 2011 budget for the Ray Charles Fine Arts Center. The money was included in the Georgia House of Representatives appropriations committee proposal. If it passes the house, it will go to State Senate. Senator Freddie Powell Sims says she, too, is cautiously optimistic about the arts center.

      "With the economic times that we're having and the revenue shortfalls we have in the state, nothing is etched in stone," said Sims. "We have to be very cautious about saying 'we have it.'"

      Lawmakers are on day 36 of 40 of the legislative session, and are usually done with the budget by mid-April. However, due to budget cuts and shortfalls, it could take longer than usual.

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