House Subcommittee Proposes Boost in CPB Funding

WASHINGTON—The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies has recommended $495 million in advance funding for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting in fiscal year 2022, an increase of $50 million. According to Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations, this would be the first increase in funding for the CPB in the last 10 years.

In addition to the FY 2022 proposal, the subcommittee also recommended level funding of $20 million in FY 2020 for an annual interconnection and infrastructure account, which supports nationwide emergency alerting, provides local stations with national programming, connect stations with each other and create operational efficiencies.

Butler says that the increase in funding will assist in public broadcasting’s ability to educate children, protect lives and property and allow for citizens to be more well-informed. He also hopes that funding will be provided for Ready to Learn, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education, which creates and distributes educational content to children across the country.

“The federal investment in public broadcasting is essential to local public television stations’ public service missions of education, public safety and civic leadership, and to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, every day has access to these essential free services for free,” said Butler.

The proposal from the subcommittee is in contrast to what President Donald Trump set forth in his proposed FY 2020 budget, which would have significantly cut the funding to the CPB over the next two years.

“The broad support for public media funding among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress reflects the overwhelming support of the American people for our service in communities across the country, and we couldn’t be more proud of this vote of confidence in our work,” Butler added.

He continued: “We are most grateful to the bipartisan leadership of Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole, and the full membership of the subcommittee, for the critical support they have provided for the work of local public television stations through this funding for CPB and interconnection.”