Delaware Public Media

State lawmaker proposes increase in online access to General Assembly proceedings

Jan 10, 2020

One lawmaker hopes to make the General Assembly’s proceedings more accessible to citizens. 


The legislature returns to work Tuesday. When it does, State Rep. Mike Smith plans to introduce a bill requiring all General Assembly proceedings, including committee hearings, be live-streamed and archived on the web. Currently only sessions on the House and Senate floor are live-streamed, but not archived. 

Smith says the proposal is about increasing accountability and transparency. 

The Republican representing Pike Creek and parts of Hockessin and Newark notes many legislative sessions and committee hearings are held at times that are inaccessible for many citizens. 

“A lot of our committee hearings and sessions are while people are working during the day or where they can’t just drive an hour or less or more to get there,” he said. “I saw a lot of people be able to take off from work or other things, but why should they have to do that? Government’s one of the things that we should all be able to tap into quickly.”

Several county or municipal councils in Delaware archive recordings of their proceedings online. Smith says state legislatures in several other states already do the same. 

If Smith's proposal finds support in the General Assembly, he estimates the changes could be rolled out by 2021.