APTS’ Butler sees “real progress” on GOP pubcasting support on Capitol Hill

By Dru Sefton

BOSTON — More than half of the 22 signatories of a letter on Capitol Hill this week supporting public television’s efforts to include translators in costs of spectrum repacking were Senate Republicans, Patrick Butler told attendees at American Public Television’s Fall Marketplace.

Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations advocacy organization, said that number seems small, and there is still “missionary work” to do. “But the number two years ago was zero, and I consider double-digits a sign of real progress,” he said.

GOP members of the House and Senate also joined in letters to their respective appropriations committees identifying public broadcasting as a funding priority, and are working together as members of the newly reconstituted Congressional Public Broadcasting Caucus, Butler said.

He said pubcasters are also seeing state funding return.  “During the five years since the recession began, public broadcasting had lost almost $100 million in state funding,” Butler said. “But in the past two years, about $40 million in state funding has been restored.”

Butler also noted that in Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence, elected in January, put money in his budget for public broadcasting this year — “the first time in eight years a governor had endorsed our work there.”

Read his full speech here.

APT’s Fall Marketplace continues through Saturday.

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