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Kan. Senate passes plan to merge arts, film panels

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Senate has approved a bill to create a new Creative Arts Industries Commission by merging separate arts and film services panels.

Wednesday's 38-1 vote sent the measure to the House. Passage there would forward the bill to Gov. Sam Brownback, who proposed merging the two commissions.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/I2ftVV ) the final version was drafted by House and Senate negotiators to reconcile differences over how many people would serve on the commission and who would appoint them. The new commission would have 11 members and be part of the state Department of Commerce.

Brownback sought last year to abolish the Arts Commission. He vetoed its entire budget, costing the state $1.2 million in outside arts funds but leaving the commission in existence.