In an effort to increase transparency, the Rhode Island General Assembly’s government channel, Capitol Television, has added web streaming to its website. Although much of the content there is what you would expect, such as all the sessions of the House of Representatives and the Senate, hearings of the House Finance Committee and select hearings held by other committees, there is also a plethora of videos covering special events such as swearing-in ceremonies and press conferences.
On April 25, 2013, a press conference was web streamed entitled “Legislative Package for Economic Development,” featuring House Speaker Gordon Fox (D), Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello (D) and Finance Committee Chairman Helio Melo (D). In the video, the House leaders outline their plan for economic development and explained a process in which the legislators listened to members of the business community and to representatives from other New England states about their successes. The lawmakers also explained bills that are to support such development.
Another video was filmed at a signing ceremony to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Rhode Island Hospital, in which Gov. Lincoln Chaffee (I) signed a renewal of the hospital’s original charter. Scott Laurans, chairman of the board for Lifespan, also spoke and provided information on the hospital’s founding and a little history of the state at that time.
The video “Farming in Rhode Island” features Rep. Linda Dill Finn (D) as she visits three nurseries in the state. In discussions with the owners of the nurseries, viewers are told about the value trees give to a community, as well as the economic payback landscaping provides to homeowners, businesses and towns. Finn also informs viewers that Rhode Island has vineyards and that agriculture is a large part of the state’s economy.
For providing a look at not only what occurs in Rhode Island’s legislature, but what is important to the state’s lawmakers, Capitol TV’s website is Government Video’s Website of the Week.