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Texas House Bill 889 Has Been Tabled ... for Now

September 17, 2013

IQM2 Government News

Texas House Bill 889 that called for local Texas municipalities to broadcast audio and video of their meetings via the internet and archive them for replay at a later date has been tabled for now. However, proponents of the bill are planning to re-file during the next legislative session.

What Does The Bill Say?

The bill calls for “any county, public school district, or home-rule municipality with a population of 50,000 or more” to “broadcast each regularly scheduled open meeting over the Internet and make available archived video and audio of each meeting broadcast over the Internet.”

What Does This Mean For You?

This means that if you’re a municipality or school district with a population larger than 50,000 you should begin to gather information on how to stream your meetings over the internet. Gathering the pertinent information and being prepared is probably the most important thing you can do today. The good news is that you have time and have many choices at your disposal.

The bill specifically allowed for a “publicly accessible video-sharing or social networking site”. Using a site like YouTube or Facebook to share your meetings is certainly a “free” option. While these sites are certainly capable of archiving your videos, they are not options for streaming live broadcasts. In addition, you will need to consider if you are comfortable with your public meetings being archived and played alongside advertisements and videos that you do not control. We have found that most governments and school districts are not comfortable with the perception of their organization that this method fosters.

Again, you don’t have to go it alone.

There are affordable software services specifically designed for the unique public meeting needs of local Texas governments. Thousands of local governments around the country have been streaming and archiving meeting videos for years with most of them ultimately and logically selecting to integrate with agendas and minutes automation as well.

You can even time stamp your videos to link to the corresponding text in your minutes. That way, a citizen can look through your minutes, find the part that interests her, click the text and be taken right to that part of the video. The best part is that with the right software it’s easy to do.

Look for an all-in-one solution

You don’t want to try to manage multiple vendors and integrate a variety of software. It’s just too messy. There are many local governments with populations much smaller than 50,000 that are using software to automate their agenda creation, generate their minutes, live-stream their meetings, and archive and host them. Technology has come a long way recently. This software is easy to use and very affordable.

While we don't know for sure what will become of the bill, this is an opportunity to reconnect with your citizens while saving significant time and money. Our affordable software allows you to do everything discussed above and much more at a very affordable monthly fee with no start-up costs. If you are interested in learning more, we’d love to talk. Please contact us to learn more about your options.

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About IQM2
IQM2 is a market leader in furnishing end-to-end public meeting and Open Government software solutions through their award-winning Open Meeting Management System applications including MinuteTraq (agenda process improvement), MediaTraq (Live/On-Demand Video Streaming) and E-Boardroom (electronic voting).

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