State Senate Balks at Having Sessions Broadcast on Internet

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Senate on television?  Not if the senators have anything to say about it...and they do.

Senators rose up in force yesterday against a House bill that would require the 2009 legislative session be aired over the Internet, even after senators amended it from a mandate to a maybe.

The bill, by Representative Eric Harris of Springdale, comes as the House already broadcasts its sessions on a television cable channel.  Harris previously told House members that allowing streaming video of sessions on the Internet would come at no additional cost.  His bill passed in that chamber.

But the measure didn't sit well with the Senate, where members move on and off the floor, hold huddled conversations, laugh and work on laptops.  Votes often are "rolled," meaning senators automatically "yes" without even being in the Senate.

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