On Monday the state Legislature passed a new rule that will expand state government transparency, something the Idaho Freedom Foundation pushed hard for this legislative session.
The House passed SCR 131, which requires Idaho Public Television (IPTV) to archive recordings of the floor sessions. Previously IPTV was only archiving the recordings for a matter of days.
"The Idaho Freedom Foundation's successful effort to get lawmakers to archive recordings from committee and floor proceedings is a monumental positive development for government transparency in our state. We are honored to have played a critical role in getting lawmakers to reach the right conclusion about the need to retain digital records of legislative debate and testimony for use by today's voters as well as future generations of Idahoans," said Wayne Hoffman, executive director of the foundation.
"We are also grateful to Sen. Bart Davis for rewriting the joint rule to address our concerns," said Hoffman. An original draft joint rule called for committee chairmen to decide when to terminate video and audio recording and streaming. The new rule requires a two-thirds affirmative vote to suspend recording or transmission.
The new rule also eliminates a proposal to copyright all recordings of legislative proceedings. Doing so would have prevented the use of legislative debate on social media sites such as YouTube.
Hoffman said the foundation will continue to promote government transparency. He said will ask lawmakers to consider a revision in the 2014 legislative session calling for video and audio recordings to be made publicly available on the Legislature's website, much the way the House and Senate journals and committee minutes are available. Until that happens, IFF will continue to post as much audio and video as it can on its news website, IdahoReporter.com.
To contact Hoffman, please call 208-258-2280, or email him at Wayne@IdahoFreedom.net
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