Oklahoma Senate embracing efforts to improve transparency

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: November 14, 2012
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This summer, we urged the Oklahoma Senate to use part of its budget to boost legislative transparency because Senate action was too often essentially hidden from view.

Roll-call votes weren't posted online for committee activity. In this day and age, Oklahomans should be able to readily learn how a senator voted on a particular bill in committee without having to be physically present at the meeting.

We were also concerned that the Senate didn't provide online archive recordings of floor debates that would allow citizens to review those arguments at their convenience.

As a news organization, The Oklahoman obviously has a vested interest in ready access to lawmakers' voting records and public debate, but transparency also serves a greater public good. It allows for an informed electorate. It prevents lawmakers from thinking they can campaign one way at home and vote another way at the Capitol. It also establishes a record of legislative intent that can impact legal challenges to specific laws in future years.

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