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Funding For Public Broadcasting In Virginia May Be Saved

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An initial budget proposed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell had proposed phasing out all funding for public broadcasting, saying that the state should not be in the business of financing television and radio.

Sen. Walter Stosch agrees that it's tough to prioritize which cuts have to be made to core services when budgets are being written but he, and other members of the Senate, do not believe the state can afford to lose the programs offered by public broadcasting.

"We rationalize and say that public broadcasting does serve an education purpose," says Stosch.

To address the issue, the Senate finance panel adopted a proposal to restore $500,000 each year for broadcasting educational services. It's hasn't been passed yet by the full Senate or House, and some expect a lot of political wrangling if it's to move forward through the House.

"The Senate will maintain that that's the right thing to do, and the House may take a different position, so the conferees will ultimately decide if that's something that's an appropriate use of the scarce resources that are available," says Stosch.

He adds, McDonnell's decision to phases out funding was a not a statement that public broadcasting is not important.

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