Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WVA Gov. To Continue Funding Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has proposed continuing West Virginia Public Broadcasting's $4.6 million state funding next year, reversing his February proposal to end it.

In a letter last week to the West Virginia Legislature's Republican leaders, the Democratic governor said his administration now projects $54 million of additional state revenue under his spending plan in the fiscal year that starts in July.

The cut would amount to roughly half of the public-broadcasting budget and eliminate staff salaries, according to the Herald-Mail.

President Donald Trump has proposed chopping Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding nationally, which would slice about $1.3 million given to West Virginia for maintaining 27 towers and other expenses. Its radio broadcasts reach about 90 percent of the state.

"Public broadcasting is important to our state and our people, and I don't want to see it disappear," Justice said Friday.

Justice's administration is working with West Virginia University President Gordon Gee to transfer it from the state to the university, he said.

Foundation and private donations support state television and radio programming. The West Virginia broadcaster's board recently postponed deciding on 15 immediate layoffs.

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