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House Bill 283 — Idaho Public Television Appropriation

House Bill 283 — Idaho Public Television Appropriation

Fred Birnbaum
March 4, 2021

The Idaho Spending Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add some important context to lawmakers’ discussions as the spending bills are considered on the House and Senate floors. As we look at the budget, we consider the following issues:

Does the agency requesting these funds serve a proper role of government? Has wasteful or duplicative spending been identified within the agency, and if so, has that spending been eliminated or corrected? Have budget-writers reviewed existing outlays to look for opportunities to contain spending, e.g., through a base reduction? If there is a maintenance budget, is that maintenance budget appropriate? Are the line items appropriate in type and size, and are they absolutely necessary for serving the public? Does the budget contemplate adding new employees or programs? Does the appropriation increase dependency on the federal government?

Our analysis is intended to provide lawmakers and their constituents with a frame of reference for conservative budgeting, by summarizing whether appropriation measures contain items that are truly  objectionable or legitimate and worthy of support.

Bill Description: Idaho Public Television, Fiscal Year 2022 appropriation

Rating: -1

Idaho Public Television provides real-time coverage of the Idaho Legislature and Supreme Court hearings. It also has an emergency broadcasting role. If that were its only function, there would be an argument that it deserves public support and that portion of the budget should be separated from the balance of Idaho Public Television’s work. 

About $2.7 million of the Idaho Public TV budget of $9.6 million, comes from General Fund dollars provided by Idaho taxpayers. While the network does have local content, much of its national programming has a decidedly leftist slant such as: the PBS NewsHour, BBC World News America, and Amanpour and Company, described as, “Christiane Amanpour leads discussions about world issues and interviews with global leaders.” This is a show from a journalist with a long history of promoting a leftist worldview. 

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