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Push For Video Recording Of House Committee Meetings

A lawmaker wants to give you a better look at what happens inside the Statehouse. His proposal would require every House committee meeting to be video recorded. And he says the state already has the resources to pull it off. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow has the story.

The Ohio House operates 16 full committees during the legislative session and during a busy season… many of those committees run at the same time.

Democratic Representative Dan Ramos of Lorain… says he wants to make sure every Ohioan has the ability to watch these committees without being forced to travel to Columbus.

His plan? To set up a camera to record every meeting that happens in the Statehouse.

The House allowed cameras to record every finance committee meeting dealing with the budget. Ramos says he just wants to expand on that.

Ramos: “My hope is that people can actually see what we do in the Legislature and make up their own minds, make an informed decision in their opinions on—not just the subject—but the kind of work that we do. You know—see what we’re working on and see what we’re not working on.”

The state public television station known as The Ohio Channel already records every House and Senate session along with Supreme Court hearings.

Ramos says he’s talked to the Ohio Channel which told him that the station has the resources and staff to cover every committee meeting.

Mike Dittoe… spokesperson for the House Republicans… counters that you can’t just flip a switch and start recording every committee. He argues that it would require more resources.

Dittoe: “It is not an easy process just because you’re talking about installing new equipment—training and hiring additional staff to have the appropriate manpower to operate the technical equipment for 16 additional committees on top of what is already being done.”

Dittoe says Speaker Bill Batchelder is all for the idea of recording the meetings but adds that it’s more complicated than it seems.

The Statehouse News Bureau was founded in 1980 to provide educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations. To this day, the Bureau remains the only broadcast outlet dedicated to in-depth coverage of state government news and topics of statewide interest. The Bureau is funded througheTech Ohio, and is managed by ideastream. The reporters at the Bureau follow the concerns of the citizens and voters of Ohio, as well as the actions of the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Supreme Court, and other elected officials. We strive to cover statehouse news, government issues, Ohio politics, and concerns of business, culture and the arts with balance and fairness, and work to present diverse voices and points of view from the Statehouse and throughout Ohio. The three award-winning journalists at the bureau have more than 60 combined years of radio and television experience. They can be heard on National Public Radio and are regular contributors to Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. Every weekday, the Statehouse News Bureau produces in-depth news reports forOhio's public radio stations. Those stories are also available on this website, either on the front page or in our archives. Weekly, the Statehouse News Bureau produces a television show from our studios in the Statehouse. The State of Ohio is an unique blend of news, interviews, talk and analysis, and is broadcast on Ohio's public television stations. The Statehouse News Bureau also produces special programming throughout the year, including the Governor's annual State of the State address to the Ohio General Assembly and a five-part year-end review.