House Democrats Don't Want You to See What They're Doing
Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed a flurry of amendments to Governor Hogan's budget bill, House Bill 150. One of those amendments was Amendment 33, which passed 89-51.
In his budget, Governor Hogan included funding to live video stream House and Senate floor sessions, that way the people of Maryland can see what their government is doing. This isn't unreasonable as every committee meeting is already streamed the same way. Amendment 33 was introduced to add an unnecessary requirement that legislation first must be passed to authorize video streaming before the funding can be provided.
The amendment will ultimately prevent video recordings since no enabling legislation has been passed yet. Video streaming is important as sometimes private discussions are done away from a microphone. It would allow citizens to get a better understanding on what is really going on, that way they can hold their legislators accountable. Unfortunately, all House Democrats besides Delegate Theodore Sophocleus (District 32, Anne Arundel County) voted for the amendment, allowing it to pass.
Maryland Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire said, "Governor Hogan has put forward a highly comprehensive government transparency package to end the corruption in Annapolis. It's very unfortunate that House Democrats have chosen to oppose this common sense, open government initiative."