House Will Broadcast Floor Sessions
Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) announced today that the House of Delegates will implement live video streaming of floor proceedings with the 45-day legislative session that starts Wednesday.
"The House of Delegates is an essential institution in our representative democracy," Howell said. "Online video broadcasts provide not only a window into the seriousness and solution-oriented nature of the legislative process, but also a responsible and unfiltered method of allowing more Virginians to see the House at work doing the people's business."
Howell instructed the House Clerk's Office to make House floor proceedings accessible on the Internet. The video will be broadcast using cameras currently installed and operated in the House chamber.
Americans for Prosperity, a group that supports limited government and free trade, applauded the decision.
"This is a victory for transparency in state government and, more importantly, for the citizens of Virginia," said Ben Marchi, the group's state director. "I commend Speaker Howell for making it easier for Virginians to participate in the democratic process."
Democrats, who have pushed for this change for at least three years, questionned Howell's motive.
Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria), who sponsored a bill in 2007 calling for floor sessions to be broadcast, said Howell made the decision because his party lost their recent elections and are in jeopardy of losing more races this fall. "He sees the writing on the wall,'' he said.
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