Maine gov proposes to eliminate funding for MPBN

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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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