By GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond Times-Dispatch
Because the Virginia General Assembly doesn’t provide live video feeds of its committee hearings, a progressive advocacy group is stepping up to fill the information void. On Friday, Progress Virginia announced its “Eyes on Richmond” transparency project for the legislative session that begins next week. The General Assembly offers a live video feed of daily floor sessions in the House of Delegates and Senate. But there’s no streaming of committee meetings, the legislative killing fields where thousands of bills are initially vetted and many are left to die. In a news release, Progress Virginia Executive Director Anna Scholl called the legislature “purposefully opaque to the citizens it’s supposed to be serving.” “Elected officials are there to do our business and now more citizens than ever before will be able to monitor those actions in real time,” Scholl said. With 17 paid legislative fellows to carry out the project, Scholl said the goal is to cover roughly 75 percent of committee meetings. Panels taking up meatier policy topics will be prioritized, Scholl said, while committees that deal with more obscure, technical matters may not be covered. The videos will be available at EyesonRichmond.org.