By Dwight Worden
There is an effort underway in the U.S. Congress to de-fund public broadcasting, which has been receiving about $430 million per year in federal funding. Public radio presents such well known programs as A Prairie Home Companion, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air, as well as other nationally syndicated and local programs that have featured bluegrass music and artists. Many bluegrass industry professionals report significant benefit to the bluegrass music industry from these broadcasts
The IBMA Legislative Information and Awareness Committee is not recommending that IBMA take an official position on this issue at this time, but is presenting this information to the membership so that interested members can contact their elected representatives to express their views.
Current status: The House of Representatives recently passed a budget bill which eliminated all funding for public broadcasting, including funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and NPR. The budget bill passed in the House by a vote of 235 to 189. The Administration's proposed budget would increase federal funding for public radio by $6 million in the 2012 fiscal year. The House bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
If you care to weigh in, you can express your opinion to your elected representatives as follows:
House of Representatives: At https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml you can find out who your elected representative is, and you can then click on a button to "Contact my Representative" and send him/her a message.
US Senate: At http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm you can find out who your US Senators are and send them a message.
White House: At http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact you can contact the White House.
And remember that you can express your opinion on one of the Forums hosted at this website, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.