Public Media Funding Update

By Protect My Public Media Team |

The US Capitol dome at sunset in the winter.

As the annual appropriations process extends into 2024, Congress has set a new public media funding deadline.

Congress Approved Stopgap Funding Legislation

Recently, Congress approved stopgap legislation to continue funding the government and federal programs, including support for public media, at the same levels through early March. The President signed the measure into law.

New Deadline for Public Media Funding

The law sets two-tiered deadlines for funding various government programs. Action must be taken on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Homeland Security Appropriations bills that provide public media funding before the second deadline, March 8, 2024.

This is the Third Stopgap Measure to Keep Programs Funded

The current fiscal year, FY 2024, began on October 1, 2023. To keep the government open, three stopgap funding measures have been approved. The objective behind these actions is to give Members of Congress more time to finish the appropriations bills.

What will Congress do next?

In the coming weeks, it’s expected that congressional leaders will negotiate final funding levels for each government program. This is a critical time for these leaders to hear that their constituents value and support public media funding.

The Challenges for Public Media Funding

During negotiations, the House and Senate will review their proposals and work to agree on final numbers. A cause of concern is that a House bill would eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Interconnection, and Ready To Learn programs that are essential for reliable, effective public media service. The Senate bill protects funding for these programs.

Each chambers’ proposals for the Next Generation Warning System, part of the FY 2024 Homeland Security appropriations bill, also differ. The House legislation provides $16 million less than the Senate bill.

To complicate matters further, non-defense discretionary spending, which funds education, transportation, and veterans’ health care, is capped. Public media funding falls within this category. Some programs may receive increases to address immediate issues. Adjustments to other programs may be needed to comply with the spending cap.

What You Can Do to Protect Public Media Funding

Cuts to public media funding would weaken your local public media service. Federal funding – only about $1.60 per person annually – supports the creation of content you value and trust, the reliable distribution of emergency alerts, research-based educational resources that prepare children for success in school, and so much more.

You can support our efforts to protect public media funding by:

Soon, we will be calling on advocates who are represented by congressional negotiators to make their voices heard.

Your involvement is necessary to safeguard public media funding.