INDIANAPOLIS — By 2025, there could be a requirement for all government meetings in Indiana to be live streamed or recorded.
Lawmakers hope legislation like this will help increase transparency among local governments.
House Bill 1167 would require bodies of government to live stream their meetings so constituents can watch from anywhere. It would also require the video be archived for 90 days.
If a local body of government didn't comply, a constituent could complain through the open-door law. Then the meeting would have to be held again, and the vote would need to be redone in order to be valid.
The author of HB 1167 feels this is something that is important for the future.
"I want people 100 years from now to look back at how hard we are trying. (I want to) add some context to why we did something and what we are trying to do,” Rep. Ben Smaltz, a Republican representing District 52 and author of the bill, said. “I think that is so important for history.”
However, one organization representing smaller communities feels this could be a burden.
“We are still concerned about how many meetings this will cover,” David Bottorff, the Executive Director of the Association of Indiana Counties, said. “What if there is a technological failure, whether it's technological or human error. We don't want a public meeting to not be an official meeting if there is some sort of a technological break down. "
According to Smaltz, there are exceptions for technology issues or if a community doesn't have access to broadband.
Communities would have until July 1st of 2025 to begin live streaming and archiving their videos.
HB 1167 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
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