BOSTON (WWLP) – During the pandemic, the Massachusetts legislature chose to continue their work virtually but that way of doing things may not last.
While most of us are back to work in person, the Statehouse remains pretty quiet because lawmakers still have the option to attend hearings and vote virtually. But will that option stick around for members of the public?
Last week, 8 different advocacy groups sent a letter to Governor Baker asking him to make virtual access to hearings and other legislative events permanent.
Prior to the pandemic, residents had to show up in person to give testimony on a particular bill but an extension of these pandemic era policies would allow them to testify without leaving their home.
Members of the ACLU and the Disability Law Center said their members have been more involved in the legislative process over the last few years than ever before.
In fact, the groups leaders expressed their disappointment with the Governor’s Council for preventing their weekly meetings from being livestreamed.
They say that move alone will prevent people with disabilities and those that work a 9-5 job from being able to fully participate in state government.
This debate is still on going, the Governor’s council does have the right to end their live stream.
The legislature however may have to follow a different set of rules once state leaders reach a decision.