The League of Women Voters strongly supports SB 629. This promises to be a very exciting project to adopt. This media streaming program as I understand it, will allow members of the public to listen in on hearings at a time that is convenient for them.
Our citizens have much to learn about our legislative process and the issues currently being addressed from viewing or listening to the hearings. I certainly enjoy sitting in on hearings on bills even addressing issues I know little about and hearing the different points of views as well as gathering a great deal of information. 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.
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, at parties or club events. There could be an increase in viewpoints and letters to the editor or participation in other forums for public debate. This would be healthy for our democracy. We need an engaged public discussing issues, and for that they need good information. The webcasting of legislative proceedings would be one way of providing the public the information as well as differing opinions on the issues.
We urge you to pass SB 629. Thank you for this opportunity to testify on this bill.