AUGUSTA — The Maine Public Broadcasting Network and its supporters are asking lawmakers to leave funding for the statewide system intact.

MPBN and others made their pitch today to the Appropriations Committee, which is considering a cut of nearly $2 million a year as part of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to balance the state budget.

The Governor’s Office says it’s only fair to consider that option as the state also looks at cutting essential services like Medicaid. The governor also asks whether public funds should be used to subsidize public radio and TV.

MPBN Chief Executive Officer Jim Dowe says the network provides “relevant, essential and valued” services that connect Maine people to each other.