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THE 2015 CHAMPION OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING AWARDS

The 2015 Champion of Public Broadcasting Awards

WASHINGTON — February 22-24, 2015 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) presented its 2015 Champion of Public Broadcasting Awards to Governor Robert Bentley (R-AL) and Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL).

The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award is given to political leaders and other individuals who safeguard the ability of local public television stations to provide education, public safety and civic engagement services to their communities.

Governor Robert Bentley (R-AL)

“Last year, Governor Bentley, a proud conservative and a vigilant champion of taxpayers’ interests, proposed a 38 percent increase in state funding for Alabama Public Television, America’s first state public television network,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “He proposed this increased investment in recognition of Alabama Public Television’s cost-effective and high-quality solutions to the state’s early education challenge and its public safety requirements. We are profoundly grateful for his support of public television’s public service mission, and we are honored to present a well-deserved Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Governor Bentley.”

“I am honored to receive the 2015 Champion of Public Broadcasting Award,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “The implementation of a state educational television network in Alabama was the first such network launched in the United States. For 60 years, Alabama Public Television has been dedicated to providing educational services to children and adults in Alabama. I am proud to support public broadcasting and the learning opportunities it provides for our citizens.”

Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)

“Senator Durbin has been a steadfast advocate for public broadcasting from his time in the House of Representatives through his current service as Assistant Democratic Leader in the Senate,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee, Senator Durbin has championed both our CPB funding and the critical federal investment in the Ready To Learn program that enables public television to help close the academic achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. He is, in addition, an extraordinary statesman who serves Illinois and the nation with great distinction, and he embodies the enlightened civic leadership that lies at the core of our public service mission. It is our great honor to present the Champion of Public Broadcasting award to Senator Durbin, who richly deserves it."

“In Illinois, millions of people tune in to public television as their trusted source for the latest in local and national news, including myself,” Senator Durbin said. “I want to thank the Association of Public Television Stations for this honorable award. Making continued investments in local public television stations is an important part of keeping communities informed and engaged, and I’m proud to support programs in Congress that support Illinois’ eight public television stations.”

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