Stillwater News Press

Local News

March 15, 2013

OETA funding safe

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma House defeated a bill that would reduce state appropriated funds to the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority by a 51-47 vote Thursday.

OETA Executive Director Dan Schiedel said he was happy that House Bill 2218 was defeated.

“We had a lot of staunch supporters on the floor who gave very passionate reasons why OETA needs to continue to be funded and survive as a great state asset,” he said.

Schiedel said he attended the session Thursday and was encouraged by support on both sides of the aisle. Schiedel and other OETA staff met with one of the authors of the bill, Tom Newell, R-Seminole, to discuss it. Schiedel said he couldn’t agree with the draft of the bill.

However, the two talked about a solution that wouldn’t hurt OETA and would work with the current funding plan through the state until the organization could find a way to replace the state appropriated funds.

One solution, building up the foundation’s endowment, would take longer than the timeframe laid out in the current bill.

Schiedel said he doesn’t suspect the bill will reappear in a different form for voting.

“I don’t know if Rep. Newell will bring it back up,” he said. “I don’t know if they’ll have enough votes to turn the tide on that.”

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