A top legislative supporter of allowing television commercials into public classrooms said the idea is probably dead for this year.
Assemblyman Angelo DelToro, D-Bronx, said there was virtually no support for "Channel One" among members of the Assembly's Democratic Steering Committee Monday. The committee saw a sample of Channel One's 12-minute presentation on current events -- and commercials -- which Whittle Communications hopes to show in classrooms every day.
The committee members had many objections to the proposal, particularly involving Channel One's commercials for junk food and other products, legislators said. Several legislators said they also were surprised by the "pro-Palestinian" point of view in the Channel One segment on the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.
Whittle offers school districts free television equipment in return for their promise to show a daily current events program to high school students. The Board of Regents banned the programs from New York public schools in 1989, objecting to the two minutes of advertisements that are included.
Channel One, a for-profit venture by Christopher Whittle, has hired a lobbyist and has been actively courting the Legislature.
In other developments, Assembly Democrats have proposed creation of a dedicated fund to benefit environmental projects.
The Assembly's plan would provide at least $177.4 million annually, including $60 million from a new tax on garbage haulers. But because the plan contains a new tax, Senate Republicans say they will oppose the proposal.
About 40 percent of the proposal would go toward helping localities pay for landfill closures, while another 40 percent would be used to purchase open spaces and environmentally-sensitive lands.