Latest News, WVPA Sharing

WVNET could lose $1.7M in budget cuts

The Dominion Post
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Among the $26.6 million in cuts proposed by Governor Jim Justice to help alleviate the state’s looming $500 million shortfall in the next fiscal year, Morgantown-based WVNET would lose $1.7 million of its approximately $10 million budget.

According to information available, the WVNET website — wvnet.edu — WVNET, or The West Virginia Network, is “a dynamic service organization that was created in 1975 to provide telecommunications and computing services within West Virginia.”

WVNET answers to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC).

Jessica Tice, associate vice chancellor for communications and public affairs with the HEPC, said that the $1.7 million targeted by the Justice cuts is its full appropriation.

“We are currently evaluating the impact this budgetary change would have on WVNET’s operations and will continue working with Governor Justice and the Legislature throughout the budget process,” Tice explained via email.

While WVNET is facing the potential of losing a portion of its budget, West Virginia Public Broadcasting is staring down the reality of a much more substantial cut — about $4.6 million. Similar to WVNET, public broadcasting would lose its entire appropriation from the state.

A joint press release issued in the wake of Justice’s budget proposal by Susan Hogan, chair of the Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and Ted Armbrecht, chair of the West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation, explained that the cuts would result in layoffs for as much as 75 percent of public radio staff, making it very difficult to operate.

“These proposed cuts are even more damaging because the Justice Administration did not consult anyone at West Virginia Public Broadcasting for advice. Currently, there is no transition plan for WVPB.”

A petition on actionnetwork.org titled “Save WV Public Broadcasting” had 2,193 digital signatures as of 6 p.m. Feb. 17.

See more from The Dominion Post

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter