Involuntary donation: Let NHPTV stand on its own
The state House of Representatives voted 223-104 on Wednesday to repeal a state restriction on the funding of New Hampshire Public Television. This bill perfectly reflects the distorted priorities of the House majority.
In 2011, the Republican-led House zeroed out funding for NHPTV, saying it could survive on voluntary donations alone. Despite cries that the station would vanish, it is still here.
House Bill 1251 would have appropriated $2.7 million to the University System of New Hampshire, to be spent on NHPTV. It was amended to strip the money but allow USNH or other state agencies to fund NHPTV directly. Current law requires any appropriation for NHPTV to be made directly to the station by legislators through the state budget.
How is funding NHPTV possibly a state priority? The Attorney General’s office has a backlog of cases, including murder and possible police brutality, to investigate. The court system continues to bear a heavy workload. But we have millions to spend on a TV station so Downton Abbey fans won’t miss an episode? What a stunning display of bad judgment.