Spending bill approved by Congress boosts CPB appropriation for 2024

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An omnibus spending package approved by both chambers of Congress provides a $50 million increase in CPB’s base appropriation for fiscal year 2024.

Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, the corporation will receive $525 million in federal funds in FY24, up from $475 million approved last year for FY23. CPB’s base appropriation is funded two years in advance of the annual federal budget process.

The legislation, which cleared the Senate late Thursday and now goes to the White House for President Biden’s signature, also allocates level funding for interconnection and infrastructure at $20 million. 

Congress also approved a new $40 million grant program to fund public broadcasting’s technology infrastructure that supports public safety communications. America’s Public Television Stations has lobbied for creation of the Next Generation Warning System at the Federal Emergency Management Agency since February 2020.

APTS President Pat Butler said Wednesday that the organization was “particularly pleased” that the final spending package includes funding for the new FEMA program. “Public broadcasting stations reach 99% of the American people, making us an essential part of the national alert and warning system,” Butler said in a news release.

In another boost to public media’s federal funding, the appropriation for Ready To Learn will top $30.5 million, a $1 million increase from FY21. The Department of Education grant program funds public television educational content, research and community outreach for educators.

In a news release Friday, CPB President Pat Harrison said the corporation is “grateful that bipartisan negotiations have resulted in increased funding support for CPB.”

CPB had requested $565 million in base appropriations for FY24, $90 million above the Biden administration’s recommendation of $475 million. In July the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that included $565 million for CPB and $20 million for the Next Generation Warning System. The committee declined to back CPB’s request for an additional $300 million to fund infrastructure improvements.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee backed $565 million for CPB but provided no funding for the proposed public safety program. During extended negotiations over the 2022 federal budget, the FEMA program was included in the omnibus bill approved by the House Wednesday.

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