The budget of the state of Florida is $67 billion dollars, and while Governor Rick Scott already signed nearly one billion dollars in cuts to programs such as aid for homeless veterans, meals for poor seniors, a council for deafness, a children’s hospital, cancer research, whooping-cough vaccines for poor mothers, and aid for the paralyzed, he also felt the need to veto a measly $4.8 million dollars in funding for public broadcasting.
From the NYTimes:
Just as a deal came together late last week to keep PBS programming on the air in Orlando, Florida’s public broadcasters suffered a financial blow when Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the state’s nearly $4.8 million appropriation for public broadcasting.
That figure had already been reduced by 30 percent from the amount broadcasters received last year. With the cuts, each of 13 public radio stations will lose $87,287 in state funds compared with last year, and each of the 13 public television stations will lose a subsidy of $434,837. Stations receive the same subsidy, regardless of size. [...]
Orlando’s WMFE-TV had already decided to leave public broadcasting, citing financial strain in its decision to sell itself to a religious broadcaster, which would have left the city without PBS programming on July 1.
Given that public broadcasting is less than 1% of the state budget, and the fact that the budget signed into law by Rick Scott contains a variety of tax cuts, I remain unconvinced that this veto was necessary.
The Republicans were unable to defund PBS at the national level because of the glaring amount of negative feedback they received even from self-identified conservatives, so it would appear that targeting Big Bird at the state level is the next plan of attack.
States rights! States rights!