News About Public Broadcasting and the State Budget​

May 15, 2015 Erik Ernst Leave a Comment

We are writing to provide you with an update on the state budget process related to funding for the Educational Communications Board. Thank you for engaging with legislators on behalf of this essential service. Your voice was heard. During our visits at the Capitol the refrain was often heard that “we heard from your supporters.”

Earlier this week, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance voted to restore approximately $1.6-million to the ECB budget. This funding will maintain the necessary support for ECB’s technical operations which support WPR and WPT distribution and emergency alert service throughout Wisconsin.

At the same time, the Committee also voted to sustain a cut of about $1.1 million which will directly impact Wisconsin Media Lab, ECB’s K-12 service. This will result in a real and significant decline in our educational services to schools, teachers and students across the state.

It is too soon to know what will be in the final budget as the proposal next moves to the full Legislature for consideration and then to the Governor for his signature. But we are in a better place today because of your efforts. Your voice was heard, and it made a difference.

We are also monitoring the University of Wisconsin budget process since WPR and WPT will be impacted by budget reductions to the UW.

Your voice was heard and it has made a real difference and that difference was demonstrated in a very real way by the vote of the Joint Committee on Finance.

We are now focused on the work ahead of us, both in the remainder of the budget process and then in implementing the budget cuts. Thank you.

Dean Dietrich
President, WPRA

Linda Prehn
President, Friends of WPT

Gene Purcell
Executive Director, ECB

Malcolm Brett
Director, Broadcasting and Media Innovations, UW-Extension

2 thoughts on “News About Public Broadcasting and the State Budget​”

  • It seems there is an all out determination by this administration to undermine the educational system in Wisconsin. As a retired teacher and former Consumer Trainer for United Cerebral Palsy of West Central Wisconsin I am saddened and alarmed by this trend.
    I rely of WPR, and WPT for my news and entertainment. As a teacher I welcomed the programs offered in the classroom and the home. These programs have no par on commercial television, they educate at the same time as entertain. We cannot do without this quality radio and TV.
    I am greatly saddened by the lack of understanding of our educational needs and system. Please use this comment as you see fit. We cannot condone what is happening to our Wisconsin Idea…it is the heart of our life here in this wonderful state.

  • Perhaps those who changed their earlier decision about the cuts realized that consumers of public television and radio are not only intelligent, but that we also vote.

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