House Calls for Statewide Broadcasts of Legislature
Letter signed by 97 members goes out to cable companies
By Lee Nichols,
2:13PM, Mon. Feb. 2, 2009
I just finished watching today's brief Texas Senate session on Cable Channel 22. And now I've switched it over to Channel 6 to watch the House. I've taken this for granted for some time now, and didn't realize that residents of other Texas cities don't have this service available to them.
Today, 97 House members sent a letter to Texas cable and satellite providers to step up and make this available to their customers. Press release from the House after the jump:
Texas House Members Call on Cable Companies to Broadcast the Legislative Sessions State-Wide
Earlier today, a bi-partisan group of 97 House members, led by State Representative Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), sent a letter to Texas cable and satellite providers asking them to cooperate with the legislature to televise the Texas legislative sessions across the state.
"This is the logical next step in making state government more transparent and accountable", Castro said.
Currently, only Texas residents living in Austin, or those that have access to the internet, have the luxury of tuning into live broadcasts of the floor proceedings. Although all Texas residents are able to watch live telecasts of local and federal proceedings through networks such as C-SPAN, no local channel carries the legislative sessions that occur in Austin.
A majority of House members have now signaled that this must change.
"We understand that each company will face diverse challenges in terms of broadcast delivery technology, but what we're saying in this letter, is that 'we are here to help.' Let's work together to make this happen for Texas", Castro says.
Initial discussions with cable and satellite providers, including AT&T, have indicated that this project is feasible, pending a few infrastructure modifications. House members are now calling on all parties to come to the table, and negotiate a way for all Texas residents to have easy access to their state government.