NY lawmakers looking to require all public meetings be live-streamed
Aug 20, 2020 5:45 am
Noah Zweifel is reporting for the Altamont Enterprise state lawmakers are looking to retain the level of accessibility made possible by live-streamed public meetings, well after the pandemic is brought under control. State Senator Anna Kaplan, a Democrat, and Assemblymember Matylde Frontus, also a Democrat, have introduced legislation that would require every local government statewide to stream open meetings and public hearings on its website in real time, upload those streams permanently to its site within five days, and keep them available for no less than five years. The legislation is currently in committee. Paul Wolf, president of the New York Coalition for Open Government, thinks that the number of residents who tuned into public meetings while in-person meetings were restricted by coronavirus shutdown proves the necessity of a more immediate and more convenient way to attend and view meetings after the fact. “...With the ability to watch meetings live and to view recordings anytime, the number of people following local government meetings has skyrocketed," Wolf said. “In the City of Ogdensburg, with a population of 10,000, more than 1,000 people registered to watch a city council meeting live. The Buffalo Common Council recently had 18,000 people watch one of its meetings.” For Wolf, the level of interest demonstrated during the pandemic is an indication that people are interested in what is going on in their community. “People may not have the time with their busy lives to attend a town board meeting but, if government officials utilize technology to bring meetings to the public, the interest is clearly there,” he said. Read the full story in the Altamont Enterprise.