House approves audio webcasting
With a unanimous voice vote, the New Mexico House of Representatives approved audio webcasting of its proceedings today, which means that such webcasting should begin within days.
Absent from House Resolution 2 was any formal commitment to expand the webcasting to include video. But most House leaders and other members have stated their support for video webcasting and their intention to make it happen by the 2010 legislative session.
There has been an intentional effort on the part of House leaders to move the legislation quickly and get audio webcasting started as soon as possible. Earlier in the day, the House Rules and Order of Business Committee approved the resolution, which was sponsored by Majority Leader Ken Martinez, D-Grants, and sent it to the House floor.
After the committee approved the resolution but before the final House vote, Arnold-Jones released a statement of support for it.
“We are one of the last states who do not have any form of public broadcasting of its legislative sessions,” she said, “and it is my hope that we will have webcasting fully implemented by the end of the 2009 session.”
In addition to authorizing the audio webcasts from the floor and committee rooms, the House approved a rule change allowing committee chairs the discretion to decide whether to allow audio and video webcasts of their committee meetings. Leaders expect to implement audio webcasting from at least two committees’ meetings in the coming days.
The House webcasts will be available on the Legislature’s Web site once they begin.
Today’s House action does not apply to the Senate, where the majority of members have voted in favor of webcasting but it still has not happened because Senate leaders don’t want it. Awaiting consideration is Senate Bill 401, sponsored by Mark Boitano, R-Albuquerque, which would require that audio and video webcasting from the Senate floor begin within one week of the bill’s approval.
The bill was not assigned to any committees, so it is awaiting consideration by the full Senate.
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