Virginia public broadcasters survive budget attack


Freshman Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) recently followed in the footsteps of many others in trying to eliminate public funding for public broadcasting, and had just as much trouble making it stick, as also often seems the case. This time, members of McDonnell’s own party were instrumental in restoring funding.

Opponents of public broadcasting in the state say it is not a core government service, and is a logical place to cut. Plus, it is seen by many Republicans as being biased.

However, legislators wanted to keep the funding in place due to the educational nature of much of the noncommercial programming. Members of the Republican-held House restored $1.6M of McDonnell’s proposed cuts, and members of the Democrat-held Senate restored the remaining $600K. The funding covers a two-year period.

A $200K state budget contribution to the Virginia Association of Public Television and Radio to promote tourism in the state was also restored.