The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Georgia says


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Mar. 02, 2017 - 8:36 PM

The Brunswick News on broadcasting state legislative committee meetings:

Anyone who pays even just a little bit of attention to the workings of Georgia's General Assembly knows much of the work that goes into forming the final drafts of bills happens in committees.

Being such an important part of the process, our state House of Representatives streams all of its committee meetings online for the public to watch. If you miss a meeting you wanted to watch, don't worry, the video is still available in an archive online.

Yet, for some reason, the Senate does not live stream its committee meetings.

Given how prevalent streaming technology is today and that the other chamber seems to have no issues with broadcasting its committee meetings, it seems more could be done to allow the public to view these important proceedings.

Some people in the audience at meetings recently have taken to live streaming the meetings through mobile apps like Periscope or Facebook Live. Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, makes a point to broadcast some of the meetings of which he is a part using Periscope.

The responsibility to put video online of Senate committee meetings should not be on people in the audience or even a senator with a smartphone, however. Even many local governments live stream their meetings.

Live streaming and archiving the committee meetings of the Senate has implications that reach far beyond Atlanta. If there is an important Senate committee meeting happening that people in Coastal Georgia are interested in, we simply have to hope someone will be there with a smartphone and the proper app to broadcast it.

These are our representatives doing the business of our state with our tax money. We deserve to watch and listen to the discussion, whether or not we live in or around Atlanta.

If local municipalities and the House can get every committee meeting online and archived for viewing later, certainly the Senate can follow suit and ensure all of our state government is as transparent as it can be.