Gazette-Mail Editorial: Senate Attack on WV Public Broadcasting Hurts State | Editorial

West Virginia citizens knew that the legislature’s budget would include cuts. After all, while the body is trying to abolish state income and state inventory taxes, it has run out of millions of public funds to privatize education.

To make matters worse, it’s no surprise that the budget plan announced this week includes a cut in funding for West Virginia University and Marshall University. The Senate budget plan also removes all funding ($ 3.8 million) for West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

There is no way to supplement what public broadcasters need to operate with donations alone. Senate plans will essentially kill a valuable source of news and entertainment that reaches all West Virginia citizens free of charge via television, radio, and the Internet.

The Senate proposal is not only criticized, but also deceptive. One of West Virginia’s most iconic programs, Mountain Stage is a weekly show by viewers around the world that spreads the positive image of West Virginia and will receive $ 300,000 in state funding. I will. It may cause people to think that the program will be spared. In reality, the money doesn’t cover the cost of keeping the mountain stage afloat.

As one of the program’s staff explained to Gazette-Mail, the state budget allocation is about one-third of Mountain Stage’s annual budget. The rest comes from West Virginia Public Broadcasting. West Virginia Public Broadcasting also acts as the show’s operating hub, providing important resources and support. In other words, without public broadcasting, there would be no mountain stage.

Governor Jim Justice’s income tax abolition plan pierced the state’s budget by $ 1 billion in the first year, and the House’s plan earned at least $ 150 million.

Perhaps this is a bargaining tactic. In 2017, Justice’s budget reduced funding for public broadcasting to zero. Public broadcasters stalled, leaving some of the money intact. Still lost services and stations. Young and talented people-those the governor and state legislature say they are trying to attract-have left West Virginia for other jobs in uncertainty.

The Senate may not be playing chicken at all, as this particular Congress seems to be completely obsessed with eliminating those that project a positive or welcoming image of West Virginia. ..

Regardless of the scenario, reducing public broadcast budgets eliminates good work, programming that is enjoyed throughout the state and around the world, and perhaps creates a younger and more talented ex-pat. It’s a bad move everywhere.

Gazette-Mail Editorial: Senate Attack on WV Public Broadcasting Hurts State | Editorial

Source link Gazette-Mail Editorial: Senate Attack on WV Public Broadcasting Hurts State | Editorial

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