COLUMBUS -- As promised, the Ohio Senate plans to begin broadcasting additional committee hearings in coming days, marking the first expansion of Ohio Channel coverage of legislative proceedings in years.
Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced Thursday that the chamber's Education; Transportation, Commerce and Workforce; and Health and Human Services committees would be streamed and recorded for future viewing.
The Senate's Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee would take the place the Transportation Committee on the broadcast schedule following the completion of budget deliberations in June.
"Open, accountable government is a priority for the Senate," Obhof said in a released statement. "Technology gives us the opportunity to increase transparency and participation by bringing the legislative process to Ohioans wherever they are, and we look forward to using it to provide our constituents with greater access."
Floor sessions of the Ohio House and Senate have long been streamed and recorded via the Ohio Channel (online at ohiochannel.org). Viewers can watch deliberations live or review past sessions that are available online.
For a couple of sessions, the Ohio House and Senate have streamed finance committee deliberations, too. But legislative leaders have stopped short of allowing other committees to be broadcast.
The Ohio House has not yet opted to allow streaming of additional committees this session.
"Expanding the filming of House committees continues to be something the Speaker and caucus are exploring, but no decisions have been made at this time to film additional committees," Brad Miller, spokesman for the House majority caucus, said in an email message.
Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.