A committee convened to look at televising debate at the state House of Representatives recommends broadcasting on the Internet, assuming the legislature can afford it.
The committee has all but finished a report on the issue and has set out a series of recommendations guiding how to start and run the House show. The plan would be to wire certain committee rooms and the House chamber and install broadcast quality video cameras. The video would be broadcast on the Internet with lower quality, but television stations would have access to video for news casts.
The catch is all that buying and setting up all that equipment could cost $1.3 million. It's a small fraction of the state's $21.5 billion budget, but lawmakers are bracing for a deficit next year that could be as high as $3 billion.
House Speaker Joe Hackney is keen on getting the House on television.
"As soon as there is money for it and as soon as it can get done, the Speaker wants it done," said Bill Holmes, a spokesman for Hackney.
The committee recommended that the House begin with Web-only broadcast, but work toward finding a place on television for them. Policies governing the broadcasts, such as editorial policies, would be set out by the speaker, and the minority and majority leaders, the committee recommended.