The Rhode Island General Assembly website. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News
By Steve Klamkin WPRO News
The Rhode Island General Assembly is beginning live web streaming House and Senate sessions as well as selected committee hearings on its website.
"Starting today, we will have the capabilities of web streaming every House and Senate session will be available live on computers," said Larry Berman, the spokesman for Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox.
"There are several committees that go simultaneously, so this will give viewers, if they want to go on their computers, they will be able to watch whatever hearing they want live." He said the General Assembly website can offer up to four simultaneous web streams.
"It's an excellent idea," said John Marion, Executive Director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, which is among the groups that for years have called on the General Assembly to augment its live coverage with additional hearings and archiving of sessions and committee hearings.
"We're the last state in the country to put video or audio of our assembly sessions online," said Marion.
For years, Capitol Television, which is carried on cable TV systems throughout Rhode Island has offered a single channel, including live House sessions, and often delayed coverage of Senate sessions and committee hearings.
"I think we were one of the early adopters to have a website, but then we let things get very stale over the years, and now they're playing catch-up," Marion said. "But, even if we're last, we're still happy to see it." He said it should help people keep tabs on their lawmakers.
"The average citizen, it's tough to get up there. And so, it'll allow them to watch things live and archive, too, which should be helpful for people who want to make their voice heard," said Marion.
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