Texas lawmakers are back to work in Austin. And they’ve got a lot of work to do. The state has a record-breaking surplus that needs attention, along with plenty of other long-term problems like lack of water and low teacher pay.

The Legislature’s decisions impact the daily lives of Texans. That’s why any concern that the Legislature won’t act with transparency must be addressed.

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(9) comments

Carlos Ponce

"[Patsy] Spaw [the secretary of the Senate] said the new policy was implemented to keep order on the floor after the day's sessions, not to limit public access to committee meetings that are supposed to be open to the public. There had been previous issues over the quality of recordings of the meetings, when noise levels were high in the echo-prone Senate Chamber, she said."

https://www.chron.com/politics/texas/article/Staff-media-barred-from-Senate-committee-hearing-6115172.php

The Texas Senate records sessions but the audio quality is not the best due to noise created by media and Senate Chamber echos.

Maybe if the media promised not to talk during session nor move equipment.......

Remember there are only 31 Texas Senators as opposed to the Texas House. with 150 members.

Restricting the media to the gallery during the pandemic produced better audio results for the Senate recordings but negligible difference on the House floor.

Video recording high school bands during halftime I can appreciate their concern. During UIL contests, NO TALKING is permitted during performances. If you talk you are asked to leave.

Charlotte O'rourke

Spin, spin, spin. Transparency is a must. Leaders should demand transparency regardless of the level of government - local, state, federal.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

Media will still be there in the senate gallery. Media will still be able to question each state senator afterward. Does being on the floor make things more transparent? They think so but more than likely .... not.

The DMN editorial staff sounds like a whining child: "I WANNA BE ON THE FLOOR! I WANNA BE ON THE FLOOR!"

Let the state senate do its job. Senate sessions are recorded for those of us who cannot make it to Austin. But floor media noise makes those recordings hard to hear. It's probably just a few media types not showing the proper "DECORUM" for a legislature in session.

Now keeping down the unnecessary noise so the rest of us can hear .... Is that asking too much?

Charlotte O'rourke

“continuing a policy that began during the pandemic.” if the process worked okay before the pandemic, one must wonder if it’s an excuse to keep the change off the floor. Kick out any disrupters, but allow the press that comply with the rules.

Carlos Ponce

"if the process worked okay before the pandemic" It did not. Recorded procedures had bad audio. Hard to listen to. Too much background noise. Not all but some of it cleared up when the media was placed in the gallery.

Gary Scoggin

Perhaps the GDN should reach out to Sen. Middleton to get his take on this.

Dan Hochman

Middleton is corrupt too. He is being investigated by the secret service and IRS and HPD. He contributed to and is endorsing the fraudulent James Dunn, a convicted felon of federal fraud who spent 33 months in federal prison. Middleton sits at the center of the corrupt effort to take over public schools and replace them with charters and private schools. They stand to make big $.

LEROY NASCHKE

Mr Hochman, can you produce the source for your claims against Middleton? I searched and found no corroborating sources.

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