Health Reform Legislative Task Force could easily arrange for legislative video of its meetings

Sonyhdrfx1The Health Reform Legislative Task Force does not live stream or video record its meeting for the public. Yet there has been so much public interest, private citizens are going to the effort and expense of attending and recording portions of the meetings to share with the public.  Camera angles and audio are not always the best, yet the public still tries to provide what the task force has not.

Several videos of segments from the task force meetings are posted on the YouTube channel ArkansasTeaParty. Also a special thanks to State Representative David Meeks, a member of the task force, for taking his own videos and posting them on his USTREAM channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/dmeeks72(Wouldn’t it be better for the task force to provide video, instead of one of their members trying to multi-task – to record video and participate in the meeting?)

Providing a video feed makes sense:

  • It would be easy for the task force to provide legislative video.
  • A large majority of the task force members are used to having committee meetings videotaped by the House either because they are members of the House or previously served in the House when videoing was the practice.
  • The remaining members of the task force are used to being interviewed or making presentations on video.
  • Portions of the meetings are being video recorded anyway by the public who are going to extra time and expense to provide the video to the public.
  • A legislative video would provide the entire meeting instead of the possibility of just gotcha moments.

Providing a video feed can be done without expense by merely moving the meetings to a different committee room just a few yards away.

  • There are four House of Representative committee rooms on the 1st floor of the Capitol wired for video. The committee rooms are underutilized between legislative sessions.
  • The House of Representatives has employees who manage committee room video through a House video control room on the 4th floor of the Capitol.
  • The size of the task force is easily accommodated in the House committee rooms. Counting the one non-voting member, the task force only has seventeen members and the House committees that routinely meet in those wired rooms have twenty members.
  • The House committee rooms are large enough to accommodate the public. The rooms work just fine during hectic legislative sessions when the Capitol is full of interested citizens who want to attend House committee meetings dealing with controversial issues. In addition, one would assume that some members of the public who now attend the task force meetings would appreciate the opportunity to stay at home and watch the full meetings on the internet instead of having to fight Little Rock traffic in order to find out what is going on.

Task Force members are used to being video recorded.

Eight are House members. Nearly all of the House committee meetings are live streamed on the internet and the sessions in the House chamber are live streamed.

  1. Chair Representative Charlie Collins
  2. Vice-Chair Representative Reginald Murdock
  3. Representative Justin Boyd
  4. Representative Joe Farrer
  5. Representative Deborah Ferguson
  6. Representative Michelle Gray
  7. Representative Kim Hammer
  8. Representative David Meeks

Three Senate members on the task force previously served in the House of Representative during the time that the House live streamed committee meetings.

  1. Senator Keith Ingram
  2. Senator Terry Rice
  3. Senator David J. Sanders

The remaining five Senate members all have plenty of experience being interviewed or making presentations in video that can be seen on YouTube. In addition, if one of these five Senators passes a bill out of the Senate, it then goes to a House committee. Normally the Senate sponsor will want to present the bill in the House Committee, which means his or her presentation is video recorded by the House.

  1. Chair Senator Jim Hendren
  2. Vice-Chair Senator Cecile Bledsoe
  3. Senator Linda Chesterfield
  4. Senator John Cooper
  5. Senator Jason Rapert

The one non-voting member is a state employee and has video interviews that appear on YouTube.

  1. Non-Voting Arkansas Surgeon General Gregory Bledsoe

In addition, all 17 members are being video recorded in the task force meetings by the public.

Legislative video live streaming and recording is easy to accomplish.  The task force members are used to being video recorded. We hope the task force will reevaluate its position on legislative provided video, especially since the refusal has created a situation in which the public is having to go to the time and expense of providing the video for people who are unable to attend the meetings.