2023 Florida Statutes

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SECTION 26Public broadcasting program system.

1001.26 Public broadcasting program system.
(1) There is created a public broadcasting program system for the state. The department shall provide funds, as specifically appropriated in the General Appropriations Act, to educational television and radio stations qualified by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or public colleges and universities that are part of the public broadcasting program system. The program system must include:
(a) Support for existing Corporation for Public Broadcasting qualified program system educational television stations.
(b) Maintenance of quality broadcast capability for educational stations that are part of the program system.
(c) Interconnection of all educational stations that are part of the program system for simultaneous broadcast and of such stations with all universities and other institutions as necessary for sharing of resources and delivery of programming.
(d) Establishment and maintenance of a capability for statewide program distribution with facilities and staff, provided such facilities and staff complement and strengthen existing educational television stations.
(e) Provision of both statewide programming funds and station programming support for educational television to meet statewide priorities. Priorities for station programming need not be the same as priorities for programming to be used statewide. Station programming may include, but shall not be limited to, citizens’ participation programs, music and fine arts programs, coverage of public hearings and governmental meetings, equal air time for political candidates, and other public interest programming.
(2) The Department of Education may employ personnel, acquire equipment and facilities, and perform all duties necessary for carrying out the purposes and objectives of this section.
(3)(a) The facilities, plant, or personnel of an educational television station that is supported in whole or in part by state funds may not be used directly or indirectly for the promotion, advertisement, or advancement of a political candidate for a municipal, county, legislative, congressional, or state office. However, fair, open, and free discussion between political candidates for municipal, county, legislative, congressional, or state office may be permitted in order to help materially reduce the excessive cost of campaigns and to ensure that the state’s citizens are fully informed about issues and candidates in campaigns. This paragraph applies to the advocacy for, or opposition to, a specific existing or proposed program of governmental action, which includes, but is not limited to, constitutional amendments, tax referenda, and bond issues. This paragraph shall be implemented in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education.
(b) A violation of a prohibition contained in this subsection is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 32, ch. 2002-387; s. 24, ch. 2004-41; s. 34, ch. 2009-80; s. 3, ch. 2012-133; s. 2, ch. 2013-35; s. 14, ch. 2014-39; ss. 5, 6, ch. 2018-10; ss. 7, 8, ch. 2019-116; ss. 7, 8, ch. 2020-114; ss. 7, 8, ch. 2021-37; ss. 7, 8, ch. 2022-157; s. 10, ch. 2023-245.

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