RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina House members say their proposal requiring daily sessions be televised online is about promoting transparency through modern technology.
A measure heading to the full House following a committee vote on Tuesday would install video equipment so daily floor sessions could be broadcast on the General Assembly website and footage archived.
The bill also would direct the University of North Carolina’s public television network to air House sessions of “particular public importance.” A House committee also would be created to study whether a new UNC-TV channel should be created to broadcast all sessions.
House Bill 218, “Broadcast NC House of Reps Sessions,” which passed the House Rules Committee March 5, would push for some video coverage at the General Assembly. It establishes webcasts of daily House sessions and stipulates that sessions of “particular public importance” should be aired on UNC TV.
Reps. Destin Hall, R-Caldwell; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln; and Brendan Jones, R-Columbus, back the bill. “We’re doing the business of the public they should have a right to tune in and keep a watch on what their government is doing,” Hall said. “We had the governor’s State of The State Address the other night. It was televised and everybody across the state could see it. That should be the same for everyday legislative business.
“We are enacting laws that affect people all across the state. People of the state are paying for this building’s proceedings, and they should be able to have access to the process,” he said.