Testimony in support of HB 2749, the Transparency and accountability in legislative meetings act

Below is the testimony I submitted in favor of HB 2749, the Transparency and accountability in legislative meetings act. I believe that this legislation is a great first step in bringing some much need transparency to the Kansas Legislature, and making it more accessible to the people of Kansas.  

Testimony in support of HB 2749

Before the Kansas House Committee on Appropriations

Submitted by: Pam Curtis, State Representative -District 32 

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to submit testimony in favor of HB 2749, the Transparency and accountability in legislative meetings act.

This is a common sense measure that will make Kansas State Government more accessible to our citizens, and allow our constituents to become more informed and engaged in the democratic process.  Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.

Currently Kansas is one of only three states that permit audio-only live streaming from the House or Senate floor. Many states already provide audio and video live and archived streaming for their committees in addition to their General Sessions. Even cities and counties all across Kansas currently provide live video streaming for their local government meetings, there is no reason we should not already be doing this at the state level. HB 2749 is a tremendous first step towards bringing Kansas State Government out of the dark ages in terms of transparency.

By increasing our citizens access to their state government we allow the public to be better engaged with the issues facing Kansas. Public engagement allows Government to be more effective and improves the quality of the decisions we make daily. HB 2749 would ensure that every citizen of Kansas, regardless of where they live or their access to transportation, has the opportunity and ability to observe and get more involved with the legislative process.  

I urge you to join me in supporting HB 2749 and bringing some much needed transparency to the Kansas Legislature.