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Video-Conferencing Testimony Focus of Pilot Project at Legislature

Posted January 28, 2013, 04:59 PM HST
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Jill Tokuda, Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair. Senate file photo.

A pilot program is allowing residents of the neighbor islands to testify before the state Legislature via video-conferencing.

Hearing notices for some committee hearings will inform the public that video-conferencing will be allowed and contain a link to instructions on how to participate.

The Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Pilot Project is being spearheaded by two Senate panels, the Committee on Education and the Committee on Technology and the Arts.

In addition to the general public, the program will also allow testimony by state or county departments and agencies.

To participate, neighbor island residents must submit written testimony at least 24 hours prior to the meeting time. They must also have an internet connection, a working webcam and a valid email account, and their computer must meet minimum system requirements.

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“It is an efficient and economical method of having our residents take part in committee hearings without having to travel,” Sen. Malama Solomon, said in a statement issued today.

Sen. Russell Ruderman described it as a “terrific opportunity” for those who cannot participate in person but still want to be a part of the legislative process.

The program will be evaluated at the end of the legislative session, the statement said.

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