WASHINGTON – September 7, 2017 – 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 significant funding for public broadcasting:
“America's Public Television Stations are grateful to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for providing level funding of $445 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and $27.7 million in Fiscal Year 2018 for the Ready To Learn program, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that supports the creation of public television's on-air, online and on-the-ground children’s educational media content.
“Additionally, the Committee provided funding of $20 million for an annual interconnection and infrastructure funding program that will replace the once-a-decade special funding cycle that has traditionally covered public broadcasting’s interconnection enhancement requirements.
“These federal funds are essential to local public television stations’ public service missions and to ensuring that everyone, everywhere in America, every day has access to these essential services for free.
“Public television helps millions of preschool children get ready to learn in school and succeed in life, and supports almost two million educators who teach 40 million K-12 students, including tens of thousands of home schoolers, in America every day.
“Public television delivers essential public safety services, which the events of the past week and a half have proved are more critical than ever. During the flooding in Houston, Houston Public Media’s datacasting infrastructure helped Houston and Harris County first responders monitor flooding conditions by sending live video directly to the dashboards of emergency vehicles from all across the vast Houston metropolitan area. The partnership between Houston Public Media and the public safety community has been literally a life-saver in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
“And public television 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 most grateful for the bipartisan leadership of Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS), Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). The broad support for this funding among both Republican and Democratic members of the committee, where the bill passed on a vote of 29-2 today, mirrors the support the American people have consistently given to our work in communities throughout the country.
“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 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.