WASHINGTON - June 9, 2016 - America's Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement today commending the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for providing full funding for public broadcasting:
"America's Public Television Stations are delighted that today the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation providing level funding of $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in Fiscal Year 2019 and $25.7 million for the Ready To Learn program in Fiscal Year 2017. In addition, the Committee provided the requested funding of $50 million for a new interconnection system for public broadcasting in Fiscal Year 2017. We are most grateful for the bipartisan leadership of Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS), Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). The broad support for this funding among both Republican and Democratic members of the committee mirrors the support the American people have consistently given to our work in communities throughout the country.
"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. The continuing federal investment in locally owned and operated public television stations has helped foster significant progress in all these fields in the past five years, including:
- A new PBS LearningMedia initiative that turns the best of national and local public television programming into digital learning objects used by 1.8 million teachers and 40 million K-12 students every day.
- A public safety capability that provides the backbone for national emergency communications and links local law enforcement and first responder agencies with one another and with the public in times of crisis.
- A network of civic leadership that serves as the "C-SPAN" of state governments, hosts more candidate debates at more levels than anyone else, produces highly trusted public affairs programming, and preserves local history and culture through more than 180 locally-produced series.
"These local services, plus the works of Ken Burns and other national educational series, constitute one of the best and most popular investments made by the federal government, as confirmed by independent public opinion research for the past 13 years.
"We are hopeful that the Congress will continue to demonstrate its bipartisan support for public media as the appropriations process moves forward."
America's Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct - in concert with member stations - strategic planning, research, communications, advocacy and other activities that foster a strong and financially sound public television system providing essential public services to all Americans. Its affiliate APTS Action, Inc. promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy and through grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner bipartisan political support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.