Marylanders deserve greater transparency in the legislative process.
Access to government data is a fundamental pillar of an effective democracy. Public access to public documents enables transparency and accountability in government decisions – and the implementation of those decisions.
The legislature has taken important steps towards a more open and accessible government, but there are still critical reforms that must be made to improve transparency in the legislative process itself.
Common Cause Maryland is working to increase every Marylanders access to government and their ability to participate.
41 state legislatures stream their General Assembly sessions, making government accessible to everyone. Maryland should join them. Annapolis, unfortunately, is not the most accessible place in Maryland: public transportation into the city from elsewhere is limited, as is parking which is strictly enforced. Additionally, driving to the city from some parts of the state can take hours. It can be an intimidating process for Marylanders to come to their government to witness the decision-making process. For disabled Marylanders, the process can be even more daunting. That is why we are working to alleviate these burdens by using commonly available technology to stream videos of General Assembly Floor sessions and standing committee hearings.
Requiring that floor sessions of the General Assembly and meetings of standing committees be live-streamed online and available for later viewing will enhance the transparency of the deliberative actions of the General Assembly. These videos should also be available in formats accessible to those with hearing or vision disabilities.