Senate approves funds for CPB, interconnection, Ready To Learn

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The full U.S. Senate passed an appropriations bill Thursday that includes level funding for CPB for fiscal year 2021 as well as FY19 support for interconnection and Ready To Learn.

The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill provides $445 million in forward-funded support for CPB. The revamp of public broadcasting’s distribution infrastructure gets $20 million for FY19. And the early-childhood education initiative Ready To Learn gets $27.7 million, level with FY18. Public broadcasters had requested $30 million for RTL.

The bill passed 85-7. Pat Butler, president of America’s Public Television Stations, said in a statement Thursday that the “broad support” from both parties “reflects the overwhelming support the American people have consistently given to our service in communities across the country, and we couldn’t be more proud of this substantial vote of confidence in our work.”

The House Appropriations Committee approved its Labor HHS bill July 11.

Both bills support public broadcasting initiatives, defying President Trump’s recommendations. The president proposed an FY19 budget in February that would give CPB $15 million to shut itself down.

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