Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why aren't committee meetings broadcast on the web?

As most everyone knows, you can watch the live feeds of the Mississippi House and Senate via the web.  You can watch the House here and the Senate here.  You can also find out when the respective chambers are online as well, by following the House schedule and the Senate schedule.

But if you go and look at those schedules, or spend any time watching the Legislature online or in person, you'll soon realize that 99% of the important work performed by the Legislature is done in committees.  For example, today's committee meetings included a meeting by House Judiciary B and Rules, and a joint meeting of the Senate and House Public Properties committees to hear a briefing from the Department of Finance and Administration.  Tomorrow's committee hearings include meetings of the Senate committees on Drug Policy, Transportation, and Economic Development, and House committee meetings for Medicaid (briefing by Department of Medicaid), Appropriations (a Community College Board hearing will take place), Education (to hear a briefing from the Department of Education), and Energy (for a briefing by the Oil & Gas Board).

All of these committee meetings are important, and voters across the state would benefit from listening in.  Which brings to mind a question:  Why aren't committee meetings broadcast online?

We won't have truly open government until they are.


bill said...

I've never been to a committee meeting and haven't watched any of the online feeds from the chambers, but could it be a matter of resources? Maybe the committee rooms aren't set up for the kind of feed they'd need to have. I'm sure they're all used to sitting in front of a camera, so we just need to get one in the meeting rooms. BB

The Partner said...

That is a good question. Why didn't Billy McCoy initiate the broadcast of House committee meetings?