Proposal would stream Delaware General Assembly proceedings online

DOVER — The Delaware General Assembly may be the only state legislature that allows civilians onto the floor of the chambers during legislative proceedings, but in one important area, Delaware is not first.

While states like Louisiana and Minnesota broadcast and archive floor and committee action via the internet, Delaware does not. Currently, only audio from House and Senate floor debates is streamed.

New legislation would change that.

A forthcoming proposal from Rep. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek Valley, would post all audio and video from floor and committee proceedings online.

“Most people are looking at content on their cell phones, their tablets, and their laptops. They expect their legislature to be easily accessible online, too,” he said in a statement. “It’s astounding to me we haven’t done this already. It’s something the people of Delaware want and it’s something that we, as legislators, should have given them a long time ago.”

The General Assembly typically meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, when many people are working or in school, he noted.

He aims to introduce a resolution next week directing the General Assembly, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Technology & Information to work together to develop in the next year a detailed plan to implement General Assembly streaming and archiving.

The legislature returns Tuesday after its annual six-month break.