Variety of ways for legislature access
This year's legislative session will begin next week, and there are plenty of ways for Montanans to get involved.
From television, to websites, to right here on your phone. There are many options for you, to help you stay current with the latest developments during legislature.
Legislative Communications Officer Kevin Hayes says a popular method of tracking proceedings is TVMT, a statewide government broadcasting service provided by the Montana Legislative Services Division. Hayes says it's the best way to catch the proceedings if you're not physically at the Capitol.
Hayes says, "It broadcasts legislative committee hearings and floor sessions, and that's available in most areas throughout Montana."
You can track the proceedings here. Starting January 7th, Montanans can leave messages for legislators online through the website. People can also find complete, up to date text of legislative bills.
Hayes says, "We do audio and video streaming of meetings and hearings there. And then there's bill tracking information there."
The newest option for those wanting to keep up with the session is a smartphone app developed by Montana Telecommunications Cooperatives, Montana Independent Telecommunications Systems, and Montana Electric Cooperatives Association.
MECA Communications Director Ryan Hall says the app serves as a legislative directory. People can search for any representative or senator, or pull up any committee they may be interested in, with just one click.
Hall says, "It will save a lot of time and make it a lot easier when you have that impulse of I want to tell this guy to vote for this or not vote for this. You'll get that a lot quicker. And I think there'll be increased conversation between constituents and legislators because of that."
Hall says the new app is available for Android, and will soon be available for iPhone users.
Story by Charlie Misra, Beartooth NBC.
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