Maine gov proposes to eliminate funding for MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The LePage administration is recommending that state funding be cut off for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

Finance Commissioner Sawin Millett told Appropriations Committee members Wednesday that instead of eliminating Clean Election Act funds for gubernatorial elections as part of his $6.1 billion two-year budget, Gov. Paul LePage is now proposing to eliminate all state funding for MPBN. The funding amounts to slightly less than $2 million a year.

The governor says his proposal has nothing to do with his past criticism of the public broadcasting network. He says he needed $4 million to balance the budget, and that matches the MPBN allocation.

MPBN officials say they'll fight to have the funding restored. They say the cuts would amount to 20 percent of the network's operating budget.

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 's picture


In your home budget 10% has to have been cut in fuel costs alone, let alone the inflation of other base goods and services, and or had your hours cut at work, or no raises or bonuses for years because the companies we work for have had to deal with a biased free trade agreement along with pay higher taxes of multiple kinds and the cost of ordinances, workers comp, and enviromental licenses, etc, etc etc. and the cost of labor, material, and legal fees to fulfill the requirements of those mandates. Is your first response of a 10% loss of income,"I will stop going to work/fixing my car." Perhaps it is. I know I have felt like that over the last three years, but what do the majority of Mainers do instead? Work on positive sustainable solutions, is what most Mainers have done and will do.
The first response from MPBN was that 10% is the cost of our broadcasting towers, if we loose that we won't be able to broadcast. Silly and manipulative, don't you think? It is a common tactic used by many organizations that are funded by tax dollars. Does it sound familiar to you? Where? I am sure if you are honest you will identify this mind set played out in the news almost on a daily basis, contract negotiations, budget debates.
At home we have to sort out wants, needs, capabilities, affordabilities, find efficiencies, set priorities and keep on fighting to survive and improve our situation. Come on get real. The whole 10% won't get reduced, this is Maine government trying to be practical when it hasn't been forced to be practical for decades. I will vote for Lepage again, just so he can bring forth the discussion instead of surrendering to the way it has always been, so that is how it should always be.

JOHN PAINTER's picture

As a member of the MPBN

As a member of the MPBN community advisory board I am very concerned with the Governors recent proposal to cut state funding to MPBN. The MPBN we know and rely on today simply would not exist if this happens, it's likely that programs would be reduced or even eliminated everything from News, to Click and Clack, to Basket Ball. Most importantly to me it would greatly impact whether MPBN could continue to provide service state wide. Hopefully people understand that MPBN is the only broadcaster that covers the entire state, we are just too small a market with scattered populations for commercial broadcasters to build the infrastructure. As such, MPBN runs our states Emergency Alert System and is the conduit for EAS transmissions broadcast by all the other stations.

Though I appreciate the hard job to develop our states budget the Governor and Legislature have before them, I expect at the minimum our elected officials to have the public safety in mind. I also expect that they have the vision of what Maine should be, reflective of the people, to assure the quality of life as well as economic opportunities we need to thrive. This proposal does not accomplish any of that.

I hope that others will contact their elected officials as I have and encourage them to oppose the Governor's recommended cuts to MPBN.


Broke is in the eye of the beholder

The government is not broke when it comes to giving subsidies and bailouts to companies making billion dollar profits. We are not broke when it comes to giving tax cuts for the rich. We are not broke when we want to be the world police and spread democracy all over the world. We are not broke when we want to buy weapons systems that cost billions that the pentagon doesn't even want. It's like Dad telling the kids they can't go to the movies because he has no money but that's because he wants to buy a new boat. This is not responsible, conservative budgeting. It's just plain greed. There is so much misinformation around that I for one am happy to pay a few tax dollars to someone who actually researches facts and supports the arts.

Edward S Phillips 's picture

We just do not have the money

The Country is broke. The State is broke.
Real working people are hurting. They need to House,Clothing and Feed. Not Liberal Propaganda.
If you like MPBN than send money to keep. Do not expect the hard workers to support your likes and feel good items.

 's picture


The debate will bring out a balance, just like the other legislation that has been worked on lately. Like the safe chemical debate, that worked out ok, have a little faith. I listen to MPBN on the radio 90.1 fm. Vinyl Caffe and The BBC news. I don't need the tv part, we don't use them, take the 20% from that part. How's that for self serving, can you relate? If the state cut the whole amount it would be 20% of the broadcasters whole Maine budget, would that be the end of the whole organization, I doubt it. I think there will be some compromise, say split the difference between MPBN and the clean election fund. The discussion just started.

Time For Recall Bill

This Gov. is not for Maine. He has fooled many,many people into voting for him. That's why there should be no party system. Clean Elections my butt. Neither parties know what they are. One party goes to far one way the other tugs and gets it going the other way. Shame on the Republican voters who stayed on party lines. Shame on the Dems who stay on party line. People really don't look at all the facts surrounding candidates. LePage is wrong for the State of Maine.

 's picture


but understandable as public broadcasting is a very liberal medium and the Gov. is very conservative. However, the programs presented by MPBN and its affiliates informs and educates the section of the population that does not agree with the Governor. My conservative views still allow enough room for MPBN and it certainly should be allowed to continue to present a balance of opinion in today's world. It is dumb to cut funding off and say there we have balanced the budget or justify it in that it saves the Clean Election Act. Beware when all you hear is one song of knowledge and justice in the world.

 's picture


It is rational to put out there proposals and then debate them. What does upset me is this class warfare thing that people justify when times get tight. What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine?
There shouldn't even be an estate tax. The owner of the property has been paying taxes right along, then they die and the greedy state has to take some just for it being passed off to a relative or whoever, that is bolona. 50 years of so called Democratic party rule has turned this state more left than the USSR was in it's hay day, a real competition with Massachusetts.

 's picture

Here we go again.............

What is it that Gov. LePage doesn't understand about giving everyone a chance for more education ? PBS should be a priority. Seems a bit more stimulating than the whoopie pie or some of the other lame ideas coming from Augusta. We wouldn't want to set the bar too high...............



What else would you expect from someone who just doesn't get all those big words. I could understand trimming their budget if we really were in a financial bind but eliminating their entire funding because it happens to match the amount needed to fund the budget is just plain lazy. Besides which meets the needs of Mainers more? Funding an information platform used by thousands of citizens or lowering the estate tax on million dollar estates.

 's picture

You hit the nail on the head,

You hit the nail on the head, Claire !!!


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