Oklahoma Network gets state funding for two more years

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The Oklahoma Senate this week approved funding the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority for at least two more years, reports the Tulsa World newspaper. The House must approve the measure.

“I think at this point, since this is the last few hours this could have been considered, I think this was a win for OETA and that we are going to be extended two more years,” said OETA Executive Director John McCarroll. “Had this not occurred, the way I understand the law, it truly would have ended on June 30 of this year. This gives us another two years to exist.”

Two legislators had introduced bills in January to kill funding altogether, one immediately, the other over the next several years.

House Bill 2236, approved on Wednesday (April 25), would have reauthorized OETA to continue as a state agency until its next “sunset,” or defunding, review in 2016, the paper reported. Sen. Cliff Aldridge (R-Midwest City) amended the legislation to 2014, a date the House of Representatives had previously rejected.

Currently, OETA receives about $3.8 million from the state and raises some $8 million from other sources annually. The state funding has fallen $1.5 million in the past several years.

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