Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 92nd General Assembly
August 29th, 2019 • News

August 29, 2019

  • From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
  • When elected officials meet and make decisions that affect taxpayers, under Arkansas law those meetings must be open to the public.
  • The details of government spending should be transparent and available to all citizens. A record should be readily available to citizens who want to know which companies have contracts with state government.
  • The public has a right to know how government spends tax dollars, down to the penny, regardless of whether it’s being spent in Washington, Little Rock, the county seat or the local school district.
  • That’s why we expanded the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, requiring all public meetings to be recorded.
  • Complying with the new law is as simple as turning on your cell phone when the meeting starts.
  • Cities of the second class and incorporated towns have until July 1 of 2020 to comply, but the law is already in effect for all other government entities in Arkansas.
  • Transparency and accountability were major factors in the Senate’s decision to install video cameras in all of its rooms and broadcast all of its proceedings.
  • Now, anyone with a computer or a smart phone can watch all Senate committee meetings and the proceedings of the full Senate. You can watch live, and you can also watch recorded versions of previous meetings.
  • There are some who opposed the expansion of transparency at the state Capitol, but I believe that government decisions are the people’s business.
  • If elected officials are allowed to conduct business in private, they’re tempted to take care of their own interests, at the expense of the common good.
  • The United States is the strongest nation on earth, and open government is one of the most important reasons.
  • From the Capitol, it is always my greatest honor and most sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.