Update on the State Budget and KHNS for April 2016:
The House and Senate Conference Committee met late on April 17th. They adopted the House budget numbers for public radio and the Commission. They adopted the Senate number for public television. The radio cut is 27%, APBC cut is 5%, and the TV cut is 100%.
The 90 day session has been extended. Today (April 22) is day 95 . The House and Senate have not passed final operating or capital budgets, or either of the two biggest measures proposed by Gov. Walker to reduce the state’s $4 billion budget deficit: one bill to restructure the Permanent Fund to help pay for government, and another to squeeze more money from the state’s oil tax regime.
Amidst these final big ticket item negotiations, there still remains a possibility that some measure of funding might be restored, television, radio, or both. Thanks to our community advocacy and outreach efforts over the past four months, we know that we have a fairly high level of bipartisan support in both chambers. We also know that powerful detractors continue to press for eliminating revenue for public broadcasting. Fingers crossed.
Regarding continuation of community advocacy during this open ended time, our radio lobbyist suggests that we have done what we can for now, and that this appears to be headed for final resolution in May or June. Whether things wrap up sooner or later, we should now wait to see if things change in our favor in the days ahead.
Meantime, the Conference Committee decisions from April 15 stand.