UPDATED (1:18 p.m.)—People interested in hearing committee voting sessions will still have to continue to go to Annapolis to do it.
The Senate voted 41-6 against a resolution that would have required its four standing committees to broadcast the voting sessions online as it does its hearings.
Sen. Allan Kittleman, a West Friendship Republican, said the bill would make the Senate more open and allow residents to hear those debates. The recordings would also create a legislative record that could be used later to help courts determine what the intent was behind bills that are challenged in court.
"This would just make us more open and transparent," Kittleman said. "I think our citizens would like to know what we talk about and would like to know why we vote the way we vote."
Kittleman added: "Lastly, it's just the right thing to do."
Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Perry Hall Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, said the recommendation against the resolution was meant to merely be a delay in order to discuss a host of technology issues.
Klausmeier said the committee voted to "defer the [Kittleman's] rule until another time when we can sit down and discuss some other changes we might need to make to bring the Senate of Maryland into 2013, 2014. Because of audio equipment, because of technology, we do need to move forward."
"His bill did not go on deaf ears on any of us," Klausmeier said.
Joining Kittleman in support for the resolution were Republican Sens. David Brinkley, George Edwards, Joseph Getty, Barry Glassman and Nancy Jacobs. The remaining 41 senators voted against the resolution.
The Senate and House of Delegates currently broadcasts and archives its sessions online. You can even listen to the debate of Kittleman's rule [it starts at 31:03 of the recording]. The standing committees for each chamber also broadcast audio from the website and the House Committee hearings typically include video.
Voting sessions are open to the public but not broadcast.
And for now it will continue to be that way until the Senate completes a study—though that study and a deadline are not yet formalized.