Interconnection gets $50M in bill heading to full Senate

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The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Thursday $50 million toward a new interconnection system for public broadcasting, in addition to level funding for CPB of $445 million.

Pat Butler, president of America’s Public Television Stations, noted the “broad support for this funding among both Republican and Democratic members of the committee,” which approved the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill by a vote of 29-1.

The interconnection outlay in the Senate bill for fiscal year 2017 bolsters funding of $40 million approved in December’s Omnibus Appropriations bill.

CPB’s overall appropriation of $445 million is forward-funded for FY19.

Also included in the committee’s bill is $25.7 million for the Ready to Learn public broadcasting literacy initiative for FY17, the same funding as this year.

The bill now moves to the full Senate for approval.

The House Committee on Appropriations has not yet scheduled meetings on its corresponding legislation.