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Suffolk Legislature begins videostreaming of committee meetings

The Suffolk County Legislature, shown here in July

The Suffolk County Legislature, shown here in July 2019, has begun videostreaming meetings of its legislative committees. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Residents can now watch Suffolk County legislative committee meetings remotely after the legislature began video streaming them for the first time last week.

The service became available after legislators put funding into the 2020 budget to upgrade technology, Presiding Officer Robert Calarco said.

Additional videostreaming “was a natural next step in our efforts to further transparency,” said Calarco (D-Patchogue).

“Important debates and conversations happen at the committee level, and we are excited to give our residents a new and easy way to become engaged in the legislative process,” Calarco said in a statement.

Video streaming previously was available only for full legislative meetings, which occur about 15 times a year. Committee meetings, of which there are at least 160 a year, were audiotaped.

Last year, Legis. Steve Flotteron (R-Brightwaters) introduced legislation to videostream committees, but the measure failed after former Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory said there was no funding.

Legislators have allocated $90,000 for technology and staffing costs associated with livestreaming in this year's budget, legislative spokeswoman Luann Dallojacono said. Last year, $6,000 was budgeted for technology. 

Residents can watch livestreams at https://www.scnylegislature.us

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