Update on Senate Television Implementation
COMMITTEE ON EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved to expend $26,000 out of the Legislative Exp||PASS|
10:25 AM -- Update on Senate Television Implementation
Mr. Mauer noted where the Senate is in the implementation of televising the Senate proceedings. He explained that there is $55,000 available from unused funds from when the House implemented its TV program, which could be used to cover the additional $26,000 needed to purchase the remaining equipment to get the Senate online. Mr. Mauer clarified that it would require a vote and should include a reversion of the unexpended funds to the Legislative Expenses Cash Fund. Senator Morse stated that the Governor has asked departments to cut 10 percent, and so the legislature is similarly trying to cut 10 percent. He asked what the savings would be to hold off expending the funds. Mr. Mauer addressed the funding cuts requested by the Governor. He explained the difficulty with cutting in the same way that the executive branch can, because departments can raise fees and cut programs, which is not an option for the legislature. He noted that a 10 percent cut would result in cutting a whole department such as the economists, tour guides, constituent services, or similar departments. He explained that cutting the budget for TV in the House would be a savings of $112,000 in operations but would also result in the loss of the TV channel and would require finding more money in the future to bring the House back online.
Senator Morse asked what the $112,000 cost covers. Mr. Mauer explained that is the cost of the ongoing operating costs. Karen Goldman, Secretary of the Senate, clarified that the Senate put money in the budget to cover the operation of TV for when it went live,at $112,000. She noted that $18,000 was spent to put wires in the Senate for TV equipment. She further noted that at the direction of the President, the Senate purchased equipment with the $93,000. Representative May clarified that the $26,000 is for equipment, and going live could be delayed. Representative Weissmann suggested that there could be money within the Senate budget for the $26,000, instead of taking money from House. He also noted the staffing disparities between the two houses.
Representative May clarified that his point was that it would be important to finish the equipment purchasing so that the Senate could have the option to go live in January or not, and that without the equipment, there will not be the option for the Senate to do so. Mr. Mauer explained that the funding would be from a joint fund, and is not specific to House funding. Senator Penry asked if Representative Weissmann could be in support of the expenditure in light of the information provided by Mr. Mauer. Representative Weissmann replied that he wants to fix the staffing disparity first. Senator Morse noted he may not vote for the funding if this is an area of the legislative budget that could provide savings. Senator Shaffer noted the importance of televising Senate proceedings because of the transparency and public access it provides. Speaker Carroll noted his support for the Senate to televise because he believes it is an investment in transparency.
Representative May noted that if the equipment is not purchased, the Senate will not be able to come online. He said if the committee does not approve it, then there is not an option in January to televise.
|BILL:||Update on Senate Television Implementation |
|TIME: || 10:45:31 AM|
|MOTION:||Moved to expend $26,000 out of the Legislative Expenses Cash Fund to purchase remaining equipment and to revert the unexpended funds for television into the Legislative Expenses Cash Fund for general expenses. The motion passed on a 5-1 vote. |
Not Final YES: 5 NO: 1 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS