On Monday, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed House Bill 1500, the appropriation bill amending the 2010-2012 biennial budget.
He made one line-item veto, eliminating Budget Item 123. The veto reduces state funding of public television and public radio stations by $424,001 in fiscal year 2012.
Speaking about his veto of public television and radio funding, McDonnell comments, “I want to commend the Virginia legislature for the great work they did during the 2011 General Assembly Session to pass the appropriation bill on time, with strong bipartisan support, and with an overwhelming majority of my budget recommendations.
"These recommendations were made to encourage economic growth, streamline government, and ensure we are adequately funding essential government services like public safety and education.
"When I took office, I pledged to refocus state government on its core functions by finding ways to make government more efficient and effective, and to wisely spend the hard earned money of Virginia taxpayers. That is why, in returning the signed appropriation bill, I have decided to reduce the appropriation made to public television and radio stations.
"In today’s free market, with hundreds of radio and television programs, government should not be subsidizing one particular group of stations. We must get serious about government spending. That means funding our core functions well, and eliminating spending on programs and services that should be left to the private sector.
"This is a smart, practical budgeting decision to make Virginia government smaller and more efficient and save taxpayer dollars.”