McDonnell vetoes funding for PBS

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Big Bird and Elmo will have to cut costs.

Governor Bob McDonnell has slashed close to a half million dollars in funding to Virginia's public TV and radio stations.

In the short term, it will be only a tiny hit to the budget of the Commonwealth public broadcasting company.

The $424,000 represents only about 3 percent of their total revenue for 2010.

But it represents a long term goal of Governor Bob McDonnell — to get Virginia's government out of the broadcasting business.

In his initial budget, McDonnell announced plans to begin completely phasing out funding for programs like "The Newshour," "Sesame Street," and documentaries like Ken Burns' epic presentations on baseball and the Civil War.

The General Assembly restored the cuts, but now on two different occasions McDonnell slashed them once again.

This time, without a two-thirds majority to override the veto, this cut will stand.

Most of PBS' funding comes not from the government, but from individual and corporate donations.

This was the only change to the state's budget by McDonnell. He approved the rest of the spending plan.

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