WASHINGTON – May 4, 2017 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement on the finalization of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget:
“America's Public Television Stations are delighted that today Congress approved legislation providing full funding of $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in Fiscal Year 2019, $50 million for the public broadcasting infrastructure system in FY 2017 and $27.7 million for the Ready To Learn program in Fiscal Year 2017. This funding will help local public television stations continue to provide essential services to their communities in education, public safety and civic leadership.
“We are most grateful to the bipartisan leadership of the Appropriations Committees for providing this critical funding for public media, most notably Chairmen Thad Cochran (R-MS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Tom Cole (R-OK) and Ranking Members Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). The broad support for this funding among both Republican and Democratic legislators reflects the broad support for public media among the American people.
“These federal funds are essential to local public television stations' public service missions and to ensuring that everyone everywhere in America has access to these services. Public television helps millions of preschool children get ready to learn in school and succeed in life, and supports two million teachers who educate 40 million K-12 students in American classrooms every day. Public broadcasting delivers essential public safety services, providing the backbone for presidential communications with the American people in times of national emergency, linking local law enforcement and first responder agencies with one another and with the public, and partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to use public television’s broadcast signal to enhance public safety communications through datacasting. And public broadcasting serves as the “C-SPAN” of state governments, hosts candidate debates at every level of the ballot, and produces 200 daily or weekly series on local public affairs, history and culture.
“We are well aware that the Fiscal Year 2018 budget process is about to begin and that we will need to continue demonstrating the extraordinary value this modest federal investment provides to all the American people, and we are deeply appreciative of the strong bipartisan support our work has earned in Congress and among our fellow Americans."
America's Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.