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Relating to Internet broadcasts of open meetings held by the policy board of a metropolitan planning organization.
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 1237 would add section 472.036 in the Transportation Code. This section would require metropolitan planning organizations to broadcast over the internet live video and audio of all policy board meetings that are open to the public. Additionally, this section would require all video recordings to be archived on its website and accessible to the public.
The federal government requires cities with populations greater than 50,000 to put in place a metropolitan planning organization (MPO). The purpose of this organization is to plan transportation needs of its city for the short term and long term. This means they can direct transportation funds to different projects to help meet these goals.
As the author’s statement of intent explains, although MPO documents are available to the public, many interested parties say that policy board meetings play an important part in the formation of the long term planning goals of a city. SB 1237 would allow interested parties and members of the public to follow these important meetings over the internet.
For these reasons, we support SB 1237 because it would enhance government transparency, which is a key facet of our limited government principle.