Oklahoma network requests 50 percent hike in state funding

By Dru Sefton

Dan Schiedel, the new executive director of the Oklahoma pubcasting network, on Monday asked the state legislature for a 50 percent increase in state funding for the upcoming fiscal year — despite some lawmakers still calling for the entire elimination of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, reports The Associated Press.

OETA, which got some $3.8 million in state funding during the last two fiscal years, wants a $2 million hike for items including statewide satellite distribution, expanded state legislative coverage and increased employee benefits.

State support covers about 36 percent of OETA’s budget. The chairman of the Senate budget committee that oversees the funding said he wants to give the agency time to develop other sources of income before cutting its budget.

Last year, two legislators introduced bills to zero out OETA funding.

Schiedel took the helm in Oklahoma last September.

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