Leaders of the House and Senate committed Wednesday to broadcasting all committee proceedings beginning next session, a move they say will make the state's government more transparent and accessible.
Video and audio of House committees will be available online, but the Senate will provide only audio. Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller said his chamber's committee rooms did not have adequate technology to provide images online. Hearings and voting sessions will be broadcast.
When in session, the General Assembly broadcasts audio of full House and Senate floor debates, but those who want to hear action in committee must go to Annapolis.
The leaders also said they will waive the $800 fee for up-to-the minute information on bills and resolutions.
"We consider this a big victory," said Del. Heather R. Mizeur, who with fellow Montgomery County Democratic Sen. Nancy King, pushed for those changes during the session.
As a test Wednesday, the state Board of Public Works was broadcast online; 17 viewers tuned in. Those proceedings will continue to be shown on the state's website, a change that Gov. Martin O'Malley said will "strengthen the bond" between Marylanders and government.
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