Government
7:42 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Kansas Lawmakers Consider Live Video Streams For Committee Meetings

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.

Right now, there's only audio streaming from the floor of the House and Senate. The bills would add live audio and video streaming from four of the most-active committee rooms, 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.

Republican Senator Kay Wolf of Prairie Village says streaming would make it easier for Kansans to keep up to date on legislative issues.

“We are all public officials, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that we have transparency in the legislative process,” says Wolf.

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.