Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tarr Order Seeking Greater Citizen Engagement With Lawmaking Process Adopted by Senate

Today, the Senate adopted my order to create a special committee to examine citizen engagement in the legislative process. Senate Bill 7 is only the second legislative order of the new 2017 session approved by the Senate.

Responsive and effective government depends on good communication with people in our state, and that, in turn depends on them having ready access to the operations and discussions of the Legislature. The adoption of this order signals our intention to continuing to advance the goal of an open and interactive legislative process.

Senate President Stan Rosenberg agrees, he said “This is an important initiative for transparency and civic engagement. Internet access and live-streaming is good but television would be better."

The Senate Majority and I will serve as co-chairs with three additional members appointed by the Senate President Stan Rosenberg and two other members appointed by me.

The special committee of seven members of the Senate will examine:
• Options for Web-streaming and televised broadcasting of Senate sessions,
• Remote access and participation by the public, and
• Standards for electronic social media use by members.

Technology and communication in the world around us are changing and its important that the Senate identify and embrace the new tools that may be responsibly used to foster public discussion, and disseminate and collect information. The committee established in this order will serve an important function by finding the best paths for our body to capture new opportunities to fulfill a mission that we have long shared collectively.