Bill promoting college meeting transparency advances

A bill that would require all four of Louisiana’s college and university management boards to broadcast their meetings online and to keep those meetings archived and available to the public for at least a year, advanced out of the Senate Education Committee Wednesday.

Currently, only the Southern University and University of Louisiana systems broadcast their meetings live over the internet.

Senate Bill 81, sponsored by Sherri Buffington, R-Keithville, would compel LSU and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System to fall in line with the other boards.

Critics of earlier versions of the bill have claimed poverty, arguing that university systems don’t have the money to retrofit their meeting rooms in order to comply.

LCTCS has estimated that it will cost $150,000 in audio upgrades to comply with the proposed law.

LSU estimates their costs to be $48,000 annually over the next three years.

Buffington defined her bill simply: “It’s about advancing transparency,” she said.

SB81 now heads to the Senate Finance Committee.