Plan to livestream legislative committee meetings advances

December 19, 2019 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is moving forward with a plan to livestream legislative committee meetings, despite some concerns about the cost of implementing the service.

The Legislative Procedure and Arrangements Committee voted Wednesday to livestream committee meetings in two rooms of the state Capitol for the 2019-2020 interim.

Related costs, including closed captioning, top $100,000.

The 2021 Legislature could consider a proposal to outfit 14 additional committee rooms and upgrade the House and Senate chambers at a cost of more than $1 million.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, expects the Legislature eventually to livestream all of its committees in the interest of ethics and transparency.

“There is more interest in what’s going on here than I’ve ever seen since I’ve been in the Legislature, and it comes from the two extremes,” Wardner told the Bismarck Tribune. “The far right and the far left are watching what goes on.”

North Dakota’s Legislature is one of eight in the nation that does not livestream at least some committee meetings, but House and Senate floor sessions are broadcast live online and are archived.