Gov. Nikki Haley’s been in the office for about two weeks now, and already things aren’t looking very good for ETV. In her State of the State address, given on Jan. 19, Haley targeted the PBS station as a possible budget cut.
“We will not please everyone with the decisions we make but we must make decisions that do the least amount of harm and have the best long-term effect,” she said. “And the reality is the role of South Carolina’s government in the year 2011 ... cannot be one that funds ETV, costing taxpayers $9.6 million.”
Former Gov. Mark Sanford also tried to cut $7 million from ETV’s budget in June 2010. The State reported that “Haley voted with Sanford to cut $5 million from ETV’s budget, but she voted against stripping $700,000 in operating money.” The cut was eventually overidden by the Legislature; hopefully Big Bird, Carolina Stories, and Frontline will get lucky again this time around.