APTS Approves of Senate’s Public Broadcasting Funding

WASHINGTON—Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations, praised the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on its recent funding of public broadcasting. The bipartisan committee—which included Thad Cochran (R-MS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Patty Murray (D-WA)—approved funding for multiple public broadcasters for a combined total of more than $500 million in the 2017 and 2019 Fiscal Years.

The largest sum of funding was provided to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which received $445 million level funding for the 2019 Fiscal Year. The Ready to Learn program will receive $25.7 million during the 2017 Fiscal Year. The Committee also approved the request for $50 million for a new interconnection system for public broadcasting in the 2017 Fiscal Year.

“These federal funds are essential to local public television station’s public service missions of education, public safety and civic leadership, and to ensuring that everyone everywhere in America has access to these services,” said Butler in his statement. Some of the specific services that Butler points out include the PBS LearningMedia initiative that turns public television programming into digital learning objects, a public safety capability, and a network billed as the “C-SPAN” of local government.

“We are hopeful that the Congress will continue to demonstrate its bipartisan support for public media as the appropriations process moves forward,” concluded Butler.