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Lawmakers should weigh cost, benefits

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: April 8, 2013

Government transparency is a good thing, a cause that we've often championed. So is fiscal restraint in government. A proposal to have OETA televise more legislative proceedings appears to benefit the first cause at the expense of the latter.

Senate Bill 429 would have OETA develop a network to televise legislative proceedings, agency meetings and appellate court arguments. The estimated cost for installation of cameras and other equipment would be about $600,000; operations would run as high as $1.8 million per year. That's far more than the cost involved when the Oklahoma House of Representatives installed cameras to stream floor debate and archive those recordings online.

The expense for the House video system technology installation was a one-time cost of $39,000 in fiscal year 2010. Annual operational costs are around $38,000. The Senate recently upgraded its streaming floor video using existing staff. Granted, the House video isn't broadcast quality and the system is limited to the House chamber (committee rooms are not set up for video archiving). But it still seems odd that the OETA plan would cost so much more.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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