Three years after Idaho Gov. Butch Otter proposed discontinuing state funding for Idaho Public Television, the governor is recommending for the coming fiscal year a general fund expenditure of $1.6 million for IPTV, a 2.6 percent increase from the current year.
Members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee heard a budget request presentation from IPTV General Manager Peter Morrill Friday. IPTV is asking for a total of $2.8 million to fund a number of capital equipment requests. However, the final budget will be in the range of $7.7 million, as all donated funds and federal grants will now be calculated as part of the budget, unlike in years past.
Morrill says that while state and federal taxpayer dollars are important revenue sources for IPTV, those funds actually comprise only a minority of the operation’s annual budgets. 65 percent generally comes from voluntary private donations.
JFAC member Republican Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, of Cottonwood, questions the need for public television, and suggests leaving it to private enterprise to meet those needs. Still, she says she will review the IPTV’s budget request thoroughly. (IdahoReporter.com)