Hollywood actress Annette Bening has appealed to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to increase funding for the arts at a California Arts Council meeting. The American Beauty star - a longtime Democratic party supporter with husband Warren Beatty - told delegates on Tuesday (30JAN07) that she wanted the Republican governor to spend more on improving the arts schemes in the area, instead of slashing them. Bening claims state funding for the arts council has been cut from $30 million (GBP15.3 million) in the budget for 2000-01 to a mere $1.2 million (GBP615,000) in Schwarzenegger's proposed financial plan for 2007-08. However, Department of Finance spokesman, H.D. PALMER, denies this, and insists the former Terminator actor is committed to the arts. He says, "While the governor shares this passion for the arts, he's also very passionate in his desire to reduce the state's net operating deficit to zero next year."