APTS Presents Champion of Public Broadcasting Award To Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski

Alaska Public Broadcasting Executive Director Jamie Waste,
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and
APTS President and CEO Patrick Butler

WASHINGTON - February ­23, 2016 - America's Public Television Stations (APTS) today presented its Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

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 leadership services to their communities.

"Senator Murkowski has been a steadfast supporter of public broadcasting, including her support of local public television and radio stations in Alaska," said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. "As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Senator Murkowski played a critical role in preserving public television's Ready To Learn (RTL) program in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - and preserving RTL's $25.7 million annual appropriation. We are profoundly grateful for her support of public television's education and public service mission, and for her recognition of the valuable services public broadcasting provides to the people of Alaska. We are honored to present a well-deserved Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Murkowski."

"I have long been an advocate for public broadcasting, which is so important throughout Alaska, especially in the rural areas where it often serves as the only source of news and weather," said Senator Murkowski. "I also value the high-quality historical and informative programming that public broadcasting has brought to homes throughout Alaska and the nation for so many years. I am incredibly grateful to be honored with the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award."

Senator Lisa Murkowski is the first Alaskan-born Senator and only the sixth United States Senator to serve the state. The state's senior Senator, Lisa Murkowski is a third-generation Alaskan, born in Ketchikan and raised in towns across the state: Wrangell, Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage. Since joining the Senate in 2002, Senator Murkowski has been a strong advocate for Alaska on the important issues facing the state, including energy, health care, education, military/veterans' affairs and infrastructure development.

Only the 32nd female to serve in the United States Senate since its founding in 1789, Senator Murkowski has assumed leadership roles quickly. She is the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where she is the Chairman of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee. Senator Murkowski is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee - the first Alaskan to serve on that panel - and also is a senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Senator Murkowski earned a B.A. in economics from Georgetown University in 1980 and a law degree from Willamette University in 1985. Prior to her appointment to the United States Senate, Senator Murkowski practiced commercial law in Anchorage and served three terms in the Alaska State House of Representatives. She was elected to a full six-year U.S. Senate term in 2004, and was re-elected in 2010 in a historic write-in campaign, the first successful write-in effort to the Senate since 1954.

Senator Murkowski is married to Verne Martell and they have two sons. She enjoys spending time with her family in the Alaska outdoors.

The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award was presented to Senator Murkowski during The APTS Public Media Summit on Tuesday, February 23, 2016.

About APTS
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.