The Edmond Sun

February 8, 2013

Senate goes live with video broadcasts

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The state Senate is keeping up with the transparency in government changes made in the House by placing video cameras in the Senate chamber for broadcast.

“Committee meetings will now be archived on the web,” said state Sen. A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie.

Oklahoma Press Association Executive Vice President Mark Thomas said additional cameras have been added so that viewers can obtain more information during proceedings.

For the first time, streaming video and audio is accessible from all committee rooms in state government, said Malia Bennett, communications director of the Oklahoma Senate.

“We had been working really hard to make improvements and got off track due to the recession, but this year we were able to make a few more investments,” Bennett said to OPA members this week at the state Capitol.

Senate Journal actions and summaries are online as well as all committee notices with the status of proposed legislation.

As chair of the Senate Rules Committee, Griffin told The Edmond Sun that she has been reviewing bills that will go through the committee this first week of session.

“Any new legislation with legislative intent will now come through the Rules Committee anπhen be assigned, if it makes it through that process, it will go to another committee,” she said. “That’s a new process for us this year.”

Fallin has asked the committee to work on prescription drug abuse issues in the state. Oklahoma leads the country in prescription drug abuse, Griffin said.

Reforms are necessary to make prescription drug abuse easier to track and investigate, as well as more difficult of individuals to commit the crime of prescription drug abuse, Griffin said.



FOR MORE information about the Oklahoma Senate, go to www.oksenate.gov. Senate audio and video may be found at http://www.oksenate.gov/news/listen.aspx.