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Free Press: 24 States Have Cut Over $85 Million in Noncom Funding - Broadcasting & Cable

Free Press: 24 States Have Cut Over $85 Million in Noncom Funding

Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania cut entire funding
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Twenty-Four states have cut more than $85 million in funding to public media, according to a new report from Free Press.

According to "On the Chopping Block: State Budget Battles and the Future of Public Media," four states -- Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania -- have cut their entire state appropriations for public broadcasting, which still gets federal, funding despite efforts from some legislators, primarity Republicans, to phase that out as well.

In addition, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine and South Carolina have all been threatened by multi-year phase-outs.

Almost $30 million was cute from state budgets in the last year.

"Public broadcasters are being expected to weather enormous cuts that are way out of line with reductions in state budgets," said Josh Stearns of Free Press in a statement. Stearns, who co-authored the study with Mike Soha, says that most state budgets are being cut by single digits, while public broadcasting funding is seeing "dramatic double-digit cuts," when they aren't being gutted altogether.  "This suggests that many of these cuts are being made to score political points, not to balance budgets," he said.

Many Republicans have argued that government money for public broadcasting is essentially going to fund their liberal critics.

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