Oklahomans interested in following legislative action in the State Senate will soon be able to access streaming video from all committee rooms. The Senate has offered streaming video from the chamber, rooms 419-C and 511-A for several years—now that service is being expanded to 534, 419-A and 419-B, making it possible to view all committee meetings. In addition, video monitors are being installed in those meeting rooms to show votes as they occur and enable those to be available online in real time.
“Our staff is currently installing the wiring and equipment in our committee rooms to ensure even greater access to Senate committee work,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman. “These changes are enabling us to make improvements to the committee process itself.”
In the past, Senators have been able to present their bills to committee for consideration before they’ve secured a House co-author. Beginning next session, Bingman will propose that the Senate’s rules be changed to require that co-authors must be in place before a bill can be heard in committee, a change that will improve the work flow for members and staff.
“The electronic upgrades we’re making will eliminate the lag time we’ve traditionally seen between committee actions and filing final reports,” explained Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “Having the co-authors already named will help us streamline the process.”
Bingman said more technological upgrades are in the works.
“We have other projects underway that will further open up the legislative process, giving Oklahomans greater access to the State Senate than ever before,” Bingman said. “An informed public is critical in our representative democracy. The additional improvements we’ll announce later this fall will help our citizens have a better understanding of that process.”