Push continues for Legislative hearings, debates on-line, all the time
That’s when the Nebraska Legislature’s hearings and debates would be available to the viewing public, under a plan that received very little, if any, blowback this past week.
[View our full video report above]
For years those hearings and debates, from the death penalty, abortion, gun rights and everything in between have been televised or streamed but have largely been available to watch only in real-time.
Enter one lawmaker’s bill LB254, (initially pushed by the Platte Institute a few years ago) setting up a digital, on-line always available, library.
State Sen. Tom Brewer, Gordon (R): “The idea of having a unicameral and the second house of the people I think is weakened when we don’t give them the ability to see what we do.”
Herbster TV ad, 2022: ”Illegal immigrations means more crime, higher taxes. Jim Pillen, he’s part of the problem.”
One concern though has surfaced, raw politics: Legislative video winding up in political attack ads.
Brandon Metzler, Clerk of the Legislature: “We can put some water marks over the video. We can try to work out some copyright claims, stuff that if somebody wants to run it in an attack ad its very clear that they took it straight off of our stream. So you know if they’re going to run an attack ad it’s got the Legislature’s seal right over the top of it, it’s very blatant.”
Brewer: If there’s a controversial bill, somebody’s recording it somewhere. If you get up and you behave in a way you shouldn’t, say things you shouldn’t, I think maybe we should be accountable for that.”
According to the Legislature’s numbers crunchers, the initial cost of this video archive through 2025 is $569,000. After that it comes with questions.
State Sen. Tony Vargas, Omaha (D): ‘My hope is we really evaluate the actual long-term cost of this cloud-data storage.”
The bill made it to the full Legislature last year where, according to Brewer, it “ran out of time.”