A Republican senator has authored a bill that would send nearly $4 million in taxpayer funds to Minnesota Public Radio.
Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, introduced a bill Monday that would authorize $1.95 million in funding for MPR in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 — a total of $3.9 million.
The funding would come from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, which was created in 2008 with the passage of the Legacy Amendment. Since 2010, more than $634 million has been funneled to the account, in turn paying for projects like “Drag Story Hour” and pornographic performances at the Walker Art Center.
According to the bill, the money would be used to “create programming and events, amplify arts information and musical, historical, and cultural programming online to a regional audience, and document Minnesota’s history through the Minnesota audio archives.”
Members of Senjem’s party have long advocated for cutting MPR’s funding because of its bias against conservatives.
A 2020 year-end report from MPR and its parent company, American Public Media, says the organization is “financially healthy, finishing fiscal year 2020 with $104 million in Total Operating Support and Earned Revenue.”
“As of June 30, 2020, our endowment was valued at $191 million, including $33 million from estates, individual donors and other community gifts,” the report adds.
The report notes that MPR receives just five percent of its operating revenue from the government, but that translates to $1.6 million in funding in 2020 and $1.7 million this year.