FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks Republican who accused public radio and television of advancing a "political agenda" attempted to eliminate budget increases proposed by Gov. Frank Murkowski.
But the budget subcommittee headed by Rep. Jim Holm, R-Fairbanks, rejected 4-2 his proposal Tuesday to eliminate $724,000 from the Department of Administration budget intended for radio and television programming.
"The fact of the matter is they've been advancing their own political agenda," Holm said, implying the content on public radio is too liberal.
Holm said in his budget recommendations that state funding for public radio should eventually be eliminated. For next fiscal year, he proposed axing the $469,900 increase for public radio programs that Murkowski included in his budget recommendations. Holm also proposed taking $254,300 from public television, though almost all the talk Tuesday focused on public radio.
With the addition of significantly more federal funding, Holm argued, public radio would still have a 2 percent increase in its overall budget of about $21 million, about $13 million of which comes from listener contributions. Others could make up for the loss of the governor's proposed state funding for radio programming, Holm wrote.