Reed to introduce bill adding to Transparency in Government Law

Recordings of public, governmental meetings in the city of St. Louis would include effective closed captioning under a bill being introduced by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen president.

President Lewis Reed on Friday will introduce Board Bill 72, revising The Transparency in Government Law. The new piece of legislation will require all public meetings of the Board of Aldermen, Board of Estimate & Apportionment and the Preservation Board to include effective closed captioning.

The bill states: “Any public meeting of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, the Board of Estimate & Apportionment, and the Preservation Board shall be recorded by video in its entirety. A video recording shall include audio from the proceeding and effective closed captioning of recorded meetings and meetings that are broadcast live. Any public meeting of the Board of Public Service shall be recorded by audio or transcript in its entirety.”

Currently, STL TV utilizes the captioning capabilities of YouTube. However, Reed contends YouTube’s automatic closed captioning service lacks the ability to fully translate words and causes confusion for the hearing impaired.

“This initiative is well overdue for the city’s residents, especially our hearing impaired,” Reed said in a written statement. “I want to make it easier for all residents to be able to interact with City government and eliminate confusion for those watching the videos.”

In 2013, Reed introduced legislation to establish The Transparency in Government Law. Ordinance 69707 required all public meetings at the Board of Aldermen, Board of Estimate & Apportionment and the Preservation Board to be recorded and uploaded to the City’s website and YouTube channel. Those recordings are currently livestreamed on the city’s webpages and on local television stations.

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