Idaho Legislature will now archive audio and video of its work

The Legislative Council voted unanimously Friday morning to archive the digital records of the 2013 Legislature, reports Betsy Russell in her Eye on Boise blog.

The Council, which governs joint decisions of the House and Senate, made the move after the Idaho Freedom Foundation began archiving House and Senate floor sessions in January.

In the past, recordings were preserved for two weeks, then recorded over by the folks at Idaho Public Television, who maintain the live-streaming service covering committee meetings and floor sessions.

Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, ended his resistance to archiving. A lawyer, Davis has argued that   the official journals of the House and Senate and committee minutes should guide for courts on legislative intent. He was concerned that digital records could confuse the legal process.

But, Russell reported, Davis is working on changes in statutes and rules to advise the courts. “I just wanted the council to see that the person who is the stick-in-the-mud on this can see a way to pull the stick out of the mud and feel modestly peaceful about it,” Davis said.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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