Live audio and video streams from legislative committees could be coming soon to a computer near you. Kansas senators are considering a bill that would add live streaming access to some committee rooms, in addition to the state's current feeds from the House and Senate floors. Republican Senator Kay Wolf of Prairie Village told a committee today (THUR) that streaming would make it easier for Kansans statewide to keep up to date on legislative issues.
A broad range of supporters testified in favor of the bill, including advocacy groups, media outlets and legislators. The bill would establish a two-year pilot program for the new audio and video feeds. A House committee will take testimony on the issue tomorrow (FRI).
In the future, you may be able to watch meetings in the Kansas Statehouse from the comfort of your own computer. Legislation in the Kansas House and Senate would add live, online video streams from some committee rooms. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.
Right now, there’s only audio streaming from the floor of the House and Senate, so you can tune in to hear things like this.
"Further questions on the amendment? Senator from Wilson, Senator Knox. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I rise in opposition to this amendment.."
The bills would add live audio and video streaming from four of the most-active committee rooms. Committees are where much of the real work on bills takes place. Representative Reid Petty, a Republican from Liberal, says many people in his district can’t take the time for a nearly six-hour drive to the Statehouse.
“I think a bill like this would really be helpful for people like my constituents who would have the opportunity to follow the committee meetings if there’s an issue that’s very important to them and they couldn’t make it up here,” says Petty.
The supporters of the bill include a broad selection of advocacy groups, media outlets and legislators. The streaming would start as a two-year pilot program with a total cost of around $225,000.