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CPB Gets Pay Raise

According to a bill approved on Thursday by  The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will get an advance appropriation of $420 million in fiscal year 2010, a 5% increase over 2009.

Under Republican congressional and administration leadership funding for various projects had been threatened. Public broadcasters argue the forward-funding process helps insulate the service from politics. The issue was at the center of a political maelstrom during the tenure of former CPB Chairman Ken Tomlinson.

The Ready to Learn program would also receive funding of  $24.55 million. Republican legislators tried to defund the initiative after a flap over a Postcards From Buster episode featuring lesbian parents, but the focus of the CPB-funded early-education initiative has been retooled to be more curriculum-based and narrowly targeted.

The bill also provides $29.7 million in 2008 for the DTV transition, and $26.75 million for public radio.

“We are grateful to Chairman Obey, Ranking Member Walsh and the other members of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee for the funding provided to CPB in this bill,” said CPB President Patricia Harrison. “We realize that the subcommittee had to make many difficult decisions in allocating resources, especially given today’s budgetary pressures. As such, we are especially thankful that the bill provides CPB with an advance appropriation, which affords public broadcasters a key measure of certainty in their business planning and for digital and interconnection funding, which will help public broadcasting tap the potential of digital technology.”

The appropriation must still survive a vote in the full committee, and then the House. The Senate will likely take up a similar bill in the next couple of months, says CPB.