The West Virginia legislature passed a budget bill that would reduce the state’s subsidy for West Virginia Public Broadcasting by $1 million, stepping back from a Senate proposal to completely zero-out support for WVPB.
Supporters of West Virginia Public Broadcasting say the state governor’s proposed elimination of funding for the network, announced Wednesday, would force it to lay off up to 75% of its staff. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s budget would zero out the state’s support of more than $4.6 million for the Educational Broadcasting Authority of West Virginia, the governing body of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
According to APTS, a new report says that in 2016, 13 states increased funding for public TV and radio, 10 kept funding steady and seven made cuts, while of the seven states that reduced pubcasting funding, only three trimmed more than 3%. Alabama Public Television was a standout for funding growth with a 34% increase for fiscal 2017.
Pennsylvania’s governor has proposed restoring funding for the state’s public TV stations, six years after a previous lawmaker cut all support. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) included a $4 million line item in his proposed 2015–16 executive budget “to increase technology to educate, inform and connect the citizens of Pennsylvania.” If approved by the legislature, the proposal would restore funding cut in 2009.