In his budget proposal, Gov. Butch Otter proposed a four-year phase out of general fund dollars to Idaho Public Television. The proposal has gotten plenty of attention in the 24 hours since.
Otter said several times Monday that IPTV has a private constituency that should be able to sustain the network. His chief budget officer echoed those sentiments during a meeting with the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
“It’s time for hat constituency, if it’s a service worth providing than the people that benefit from it should help save it,” Hammon said.
Hammon added, however, that IPTV provides services to the state government that it does not get paid for, such as teleprompters for the State of the State or televising the state Legislature.
“Perhaps we need to find a source to pay them. Maybe governor’s office ought to pay them. Maybe the legislature ought to be paying them for that,” Hammon said.
Rep. Maxine Bell said those instances and others “showed they have a right to some general fund in what they’re doing.”
Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, defended IPTV, too. “It seems to be something of a Hail Mary to expect them to go even further in that direction (private money) and in any way maintain the quality programming that we have.”