WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 23, 2018 - America's Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement today commending the U.S. Senate for providing level funding for public broadcasting in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS-Education) Appropriations Bill:
“America's Public Television Stations are delighted that the Senate has approved legislation providing full funding of $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in Fiscal Year 2021, $20 million in FY 2019 for an annual interconnection and infrastructure account, and $27.7 million in FY 2019 for the Ready To Learn program, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that supports public television's essential work – on the air, online and on the-ground – in early childhood education.
“These federal funds are essential to local public television stations’ work in education, public safety and civic leadership in hundreds of American communities and to ensuring that everyone everywhere in America has access to these vital services and the educational programming that lies at the heart of our mission.
“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 television 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 television serves as the “C-SPAN” of State governments, hosts candidate debates at every level of the ballot, and produces thousands of hours of programming on local public affairs, history and culture for America’s hometowns.
“We commend the bipartisan leadership of Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), and the full bipartisan membership of the Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee for their excellent work in fashioning this important legislation.
“The broad support for public media funding among both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate, which approved the bill on a vote of 85-7 today, reflects the overwhelming support the American people have consistently given to our service in communities across the country, and we couldn’t be more proud of this substantial vote of confidence in our work.”
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.