Sunday, April 10, 2016

A to-do list for the legislature: Live-streaming floor sessions

Despite plenty of sniping back and forth between Gov. Larry Hogan and the General Assembly, this year's legislative session has gone pretty smoothly. The legislature passed Mr. Hogan's budget quickly and with little debate, and Mr. Hogan decided to allow into law the vast majority of the bills the legislature sent his way early enough to set up a potential veto fight. Still, there are a number of important pieces of legislation whose fates are left to be decided before the General Assembly adjourns Monday night. Here are a few that ought to be top priorities...

Live-streaming floor sessions
We can't quite fathom how it is that legislation sponsored by Del. Kathy Szeliga, the minority whip, and Del. David Moon, a Montgomery County Democrat, to require the House and Senate to live-stream floor debates hasn't even gotten a committee vote. Both chambers now live-stream (and archive) every committee hearing, and the kind of grandstanding critics of this measure say they fear has not come to pass. We suspect that the cost estimate for this measure is higher than necessary — $1.2 million for start-up costs in the first year and about $400,000 a year after that — but it would be worth it even at that price. People shouldn't have to drive to Annapolis to find out what their elected representatives are saying as they decide whether to pass or reject legislation.


  1. This collective body has nine months ahead of it to reap the rewards of its accomplishments.

  2. Here in "progressive" Maryland, we are literally decades behind what CSPAN has provided for years at the federal government level.

  3. Oh please. The Montgomery County Civic Federation has asked the county delegation to stream their secret Friday meetings for years. Here are some of the excuses we've received: "The room isn't set up for that." "Our computers are too old." (got that one this year right before the session started.) "We don't have cameras on our computers." If Mr. Moon wants to live stream the sessions, he can start right in his own backyard.


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