It’s Only Fair That The State Practices What It Preaches

It shouldn’t be difficult for Industrial Development Agencies statewide to comply with a recently enacted state law to livestream their meetings and then archive the videos for public viewing later.

The Assembly nearly unanimously passed the legislation mandating IDAs to videotape their meetings, yet the Assembly has not lived up to its own rules passed a few years ago that would have video taken of Assembly committee meetings and those videos archived. The Assembly has not done so because, conveniently, it was sure to include a practicality clause. We agree with Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, who believes the state Assembly should practice what it preaches. The IDA law comes with a provision stating IDAs should make and archive the videos to the extent it is practical.

“I would hope that the standard of what’s practical for a live video taping and display of IDA and authority meetings is based on what is, my colleague expressed, a reasonably inexpensive and a reasonable easy process and that they follow the meaning and intent of this proposed legislation and not follow our lack of leadership internally,” Goodell said on the Assembly floor. “And so I do support the bill and I would encourage our own Assembly to move forward in implementing our own Rules that require the same type of video showing.”

Goodell is right, particularly when it comes to the state Assembly. Having a video of meetings archived is one of the only ways the press and public can see what is happening in the halls of state government, particularly for concerned citizens who live several hours away from the state Capitol. The state should practice what it preaches.