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SECTION 236
Public television and radio
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 1, ARTICLE 5, PART 1
§ 236. Public television and radio. 1. Short title. This section shall
be known and may be cited as the "Public Television and Radio Act of
nineteen hundred seventy-eight".

2. Legislative findings and declaration of intent. In the years since
New York state's educational television act was passed in nineteen
hundred fifty-four, public television in New York has made enormous
strides. Audiences which only a decade ago were calculated in the
thousands now number in the millions. Approximately seven million New
York residents now view public television every week. Public television,
which initially served only a handful of students, now brings nearly ten
thousand hours annually of the best of the state's and the nation's
educational programming to over one million two hundred thousand
students in three thousand schools throughout the state. These programs
are used by approximately fifty thousand teachers for direct classroom
instruction. Public television also provides the state's youngsters with
some twelve thousand hours annually of the finest children's programming
available including "Sesame Street", "Electric Company", "Zoom" and "Mr.
Rogers Neighborhood". In addition, public television provides a wealth
of specialized programming in the educational and cultural arts designed
for viewing by, among others, minority and ethnic populations, senior
citizens, the unemployed, consumers and citizens interested in the
performing arts. It is the sense of the legislature that public
television's contributions to the people of New York state have been
exceptional. Despite public broadcasting's great progress in New York
state in recent years, its full potential remains untapped. It is,
therefore, the intent of the legislature both to maintain and, expand
the role of public broadcasting in supplying educational, instructional
and cultural programs to New Yorkers, as well as to enhance the state's
role in its partnership with its citizens so that this valuable state
resource can be nurtured to its optimum potential.

3. Public television and radio corporations; creation and operation.
a. The board of regents may incorporate any group, institution or
association for the purpose of constructing, owning, operating or
maintaining a non-profit and noncommercial public television station or
public television and/or radio station for providing educational
television and radio programs. Any such corporation shall be subject to
all the provisions applicable to corporations created by the board of
regents and, in addition, shall be subject to the provisions of this
section.

b. The charter of any such corporation may be amended from time to
time, suspended, or revoked, upon the regents' own motion, after notice
and an opportunity to be heard, before the board of regents or a
committee thereof or a hearing officer designated by the board of
regents.

c. Each such corporation and all its operations and the powers and
duties of its trustees and officers shall be subject to the general
supervision and control of the board of regents and to such rules as the
board of regents may adopt and promulgate from time to time with respect
to such corporations.

d. The television programs developed and presented by such
corporations shall consist of educational, instructional and cultural
programs.

e. The appointment or election of any trustee of such corporation
shall be subject to approval by the regents while under regents' charter
and through the first five years of broadcast operations. The regents
may reinstitute requirements for trustee approval over a reasonable
period on finding a corporation in violation of an applicable rule,
regulation or law. After the expiration of rule requirements,
corporations shall include a list of current trustees in its annual
report.

f. The regents may remove any trustee, officer or employee of such
corporation for misconduct, incapacity, wilful violation or neglect of
duty under this chapter, or wilfully disobeying, or refusing to comply
with, any order or rule of the regents. The hearing in the proceeding
for the removal of any such person shall be had before the board of
regents or a committee thereof or a hearing officer designated by the
board of regents and such trustee, officer or employee shall be given at
least ten days' notice of the time and place of such hearing.

g. The use of programs for partisan or political purposes or to
influence the enactment of legislation shall, in the discretion of the
board of regents, be basis for termination of the corporate charter.

h. Each such corporation shall render a report to the board of regents
not later than October first of each year upon such matters as the
regents may require, and shall furnish such other reports and
information from time to time as the regents may require.

i. Any corporation created under the provisions of this section may
make purchases of commodities and services through the office of general
services subject to such rules as may be established from time to time
pursuant to section one hundred sixty-three of the state finance law;
provided that each such purchase shall have a cost of five hundred
dollars or more and that said corporation shall accept sole
responsibility for any payment of such cost due the vendor.

4. Grants-in-aid to public television and radio corporations and
public radio stations. a. There shall be apportioned, as assistance for
approved operating expenses of public television corporations governed
by the provisions of this section, an amount not exceeding the product
of the number of residents of the state as determined from the nineteen
hundred eighty decennial federal census multiplied by: one dollar for
the period beginning July first, nineteen hundred eighty-five and ending
June thirtieth, nineteen hundred eighty-six; one dollar multiplied by
four-twelfths plus one dollar and twenty-five cents multiplied by
eight-twelfths for the period beginning July first, nineteen hundred
eighty-six and ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred eighty-seven; and
one dollar and forty cents for the period beginning July first, nineteen
hundred eighty-seven and ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred
eighty-eight, and annually thereafter. Such amount shall be allocated to
each such corporation in accordance with a formula and schedule of
payments developed and approved by the commissioner and the director of
the division of the budget.

b. The formula and schedule of payments developed pursuant to
paragraph a hereof shall include provision for an amount not less than
twenty percent of the total state operating assistance for instructional
television services to be provided to local educational agencies by
public television corporations through agreements with local school
districts, subject to the approval of the commissioner.

c. There shall be annually apportioned funds for the payment of
approved capital expenses of educational television corporations and
public radio stations in such amounts and in such manner as the
legislature shall provide.

d. There shall be apportioned, as assistance for approved radio
programming operating expenses, an amount not exceeding: eighty thousand
dollars for the period beginning July first, nineteen hundred
eighty-five and ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred eighty-six, and
eighty thousand dollars multiplied by four-twelfths plus one hundred
thousand dollars multiplied by eight-twelfths for the period beginning
July first, nineteen hundred eighty-six and ending June thirtieth,
nineteen hundred eighty-seven, and one hundred ten thousand dollars for
the period beginning July first, nineteen hundred eighty-seven and
ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred eighty-eight, and annually
thereafter to each public television and radio corporation, governed by
the provisions of this section, and to each public radio station, as
defined in paragraph f of this subdivision and paid in accordance with a
formula and schedule of payments developed and approved by the
commissioner and the director of the division of the budget. Recipients
of assistance shall render a fiscal report to the board of regents not
later than December first of each year upon such matters as the regents
may require and shall furnish annually such other fiscal reports as the
regents may require.

e. On or before November first in each year, the board of regents
shall submit to the division of the budget a plan outlining a matching
capital grant program for approved capital expenses of public television
and/or radio corporations and public radio stations to meet the
replacement costs of capital items including towers, antennas,
transmitters, videotape recorders, cameras, film chains, control room
equipment, buildings and building renovations.

f. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, for purposes of this
subdivision the term "public radio station" shall mean a non-profit and
noncommercial radio station which meets the following requirements:

(1) The station shall be licensed to:

(i) an institution chartered by the board of regents; or

(ii) an agency of a municipal corporation; or

(iii) a corporation created in the state education department and
within the university of the state of New York.

(2) The station other than stations operated by corporations approved
for funding prior to April first, nineteen hundred eighty-five shall
have for a period of three consecutive years immediately prior to
apportionment of such money and all recipients shall continue to after
receipt of such money:

(i) broadcast at least eighteen hours per day or the maximum hours of
operation authorized by the federal communications commission, whichever
is less, three hundred sixty-five days per year; and

(ii) operate with a staff of at least five full-time members paid at
least the federal minimum wage, a budget that includes at least
ninety-five thousand dollars of non-federal income of which a reasonable
portion is received from local business, foundations, or individual
contributors paid either directly to the radio station or broadcast
corporation or to a not-for-profit corporation for the benefit of such
radio station and an effective radiated power equivalent to three
thousand watts at five hundred feet above average terrain or the maximum
tower height authorized by the federal communications commission,
whichever is less for FM radio stations or two hundred fifty watts for
AM radio stations.

g. At such time that assistance authorized by paragraph a of this
subdivision exceeds the sum appropriated in state fiscal year nineteen
hundred ninety--nineteen hundred ninety-one, there shall be apportioned
as assistance for approved operating expenses of New York city-licensed
WNYC-TV, for each three hundred sixty-five hours of public service
programming broadcast by such station annually, an amount equal to one
percent of that portion of public television assistance for approved
operating expenses which represents the increment above the level
appropriated in state fiscal year nineteen hundred ninety--nineteen
hundred ninety-one; provided, however, that the total apportionment to
WNYC-TV shall not exceed ten percent of such incremental assistance over
such nineteen hundred ninety--nineteen hundred ninety-one level.
Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph to the contrary, such
funding for WNYC-TV shall not diminish the amount of state aid received
by the nine public television corporations pursuant to paragraph a of
this subdivision in state fiscal year nineteen hundred ninety--nineteen
hundred ninety-one. For the purposes of this subdivision, "public
service programming" shall be defined as non-commercial cultural,
instructional or educational programming. In order to qualify for
assistance under this subdivision, the minimum hours of non-commercial
public service programming, shall be eight hours daily and shall include
three hours daily of prime time service, which is defined as service
between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Non-commercial public
service programming, other than prime time, shall be broadcast in blocks
of not less than one hundred twenty minutes. All funds so apportioned
shall be used for non-commercial public service television broadcast
activities. WNYC-TV shall render a report to the commissioner not later
than December first of each year such funds are appropriated upon the
use of such appropriation, and shall furnish such other reports and
information relating to such funds as the commissioner may from time to
time require. Funds appropriated pursuant to this subdivision shall not
be used for partisan or political purposes or to influence the enactment
of legislation.

h. There shall be apportioned, at such time that any appropriation
exceeds the sum appropriated in state fiscal year nineteen hundred
ninety--nineteen hundred ninety-one for approved capital expenses of
educational television corporations and public radio stations, as
provided in paragraph c of this subdivision, an amount to New York
city-licensed WNYC-TV. Notwithstanding any provisions of this paragraph
to the contrary, such funding shall not diminish the amount of state
aid, for capital purposes, that the nine public television corporations
and fifteen public radio stations received in state fiscal year nineteen
hundred ninety--nineteen hundred ninety-one. WNYC-TV shall render a
report to the commissioner not later than December first of each year
such funds are appropriated upon the use of funds apportioned pursuant
to this paragraph, and shall furnish such other reports and information
relating to such funds as the commissioner may require.

5. Implementation. For the purposes of carrying out the provisions of
this section, the regents may make rules, or authorize the commissioner
to make regulations, providing for the implementation of this section,
including provision for annual audited reports of the financial records
of such corporations as the regents or the commissioner may require.