The League of Women Voters strongly supports HB906, H.D.1. This promises to be a very exciting project to adopt. This webcasting program as I understand it, will allow members of the public to listen in on hearings at a time that is convenient for them. While at first it many not cover all sessions and all hearings, our eventual goal will always remain gavel-to-gavel coverage of all sessions, hearings, and briefings, whether it will be by telecasting and/or through webcasting which I understand may be more economical.
Our citizens have much to learn about our legislative process and the issues currently being addressed from viewing or listening to the hearings. We’re able to listen to the testimonies of experts as well as the viewpoints of ordinary citizens and representatives of the different industries and other interest groups. Had webcasting been available last session, the hours-long hearing on the “walk and talk” bill which was one of the best hearings I’ve had the pleasure of listening to could have been stored for viewing, I regret that that hearing wasn’t even taped.
The webcasting would make many of the hearings and the floor sessions accessible to those who are not able to attend these sessions, or not able to view the telecasts of the limited number of hearings that are aired because their schedules do not allow them the luxury. This exposure to the legislative proceedings will undoubtedly encourage more public engagement in discussions on the current issues, whether it is in their small circles of friends or fellow workers, or at club events or other forums. This would be healthy for our democracy. We need an engaged public discussing issues and for that they need good information. This would be one way of providing them the information as well as different opinions on the issues.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify on this.