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Democatic Ohio lawmaker wants a record of every committee meeting
Rep. Dan Ramos of Lorain says it will lead to informed voter decisions; opponents cite technical complexity

Andy Chow
Rep. Dan Ramos of Lorain says taping all committee meetings will lead to informed voter decisions
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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In The Region:
A lawmaker wants to give you a better look at what happens inside the Statehouse. His proposal would require every House committee meeting to be video recorded. And he says the state already has the resources to pull it off. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow has the story.
The Ohio House operates 16 full committees during the legislative session and during a busy season, many of those committees run at the same time.

Democratic Representative Dan Ramos of Lorain says he wants to make sure every Ohioan has the ability to watch these committees without being forced to travel to Columbus.

His plan? To set up a camera to record every meeting that happens in the Statehouse.

The House allowed cameras to record every finance committee meeting dealing with the budget. Ramos says he just wants to expand on that.

“My hope is that people can actually see what we do in the Legislature and make up their own minds, make an informed decision in their opinions on—not just the subject—but the kind of work that we do. You know—see what we’re working on and see what we’re not working on.”

The state public television station known as The Ohio Channel already records every House and Senate session along with Supreme Court hearings. Ramos says he’s talked to the Ohio Channel, which told him that the station has the resources and staff to cover every committee meeting.

Mike Dittoe, spokesman for the House Republicans, counters that you can’t just flip a switch and start recording every committee. He argues that it would require more resources.

“It is not an easy process just because you’re talking about installing new equipment—training and hiring additional staff to have the appropriate manpower to operate the technical equipment for 16 additional committees on top of what is already being done.”

Dittoe says House Speaker Bill Batchelder is all for the idea of recording the meetings but adds that it’s more complicated than it seems.
Listener Comments:

Rep. Ramos is honest, hardworking, and practical. Yes, Republicans can flip a switch when it suits their purposes;i.d., gerrymandering.

Posted by: Greg Antus (Lorain, OH) on September 15, 2013 12:09PM
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