The state Legislature is considering cutting the amount of funding available for public broadcasting.
Rep. Lynn Gattis, a Wasilla Republican who chairs the Department of Administration finance subcommittee, introduced the cuts by saying the group was focused on essential needs.
”In this fiscal climate, the state should focus on mission critical services, reduce its footprint, and take this opportunity to get out of business that it doesn’t need to be in,” she said. “This has truly been an opportunity to evaluate the wants versus the needs of state government.”
Between operations and infrastructure, public radio and television were granted $5 million in state funds in the last budget. With the proposal offered by the House Finance subcommittee, funding would be reduced to $2.5 million.
Tyson Gallagher, an aide for Gattis, explained that the cuts would be focused on outlets that have other broadcasting options in their service area. That includes commercial radio stations.
“With the advancements in technology and the development of other broadcast sources, there’s less of a need to maintain public service programming at comparable levels to prior years,” he said.
KRBD is a beneficiary of the state funding program for public radio. Without the proposed cuts, KRBD is slated to receive $137,334. If the proposed cuts are approved, KRBD will face a budget shortfall of up to $80,000, according to station General Manager Deb Turnbull.