The Mississippi College School of Law is helping people stay up to date on what’s happening at the State Capitol. It has created the first of its kind catalog of video recordings from the House and Senate floor during Legislative Session.
Currently, the Mississippi Legislature website does provide a live stream of the happenings on each chamber’s floor, however, once the feed goes off, that video is not stored anywhere on their website. That’s where the School of Law comes in.
It’s called the Legislative History Project and it is an online video archive of legislative debates. On this online forum you can access video clips of individual bills and select resolutions as they are debated on the floor of the House of Representatives and Mississippi Senate.
According the Jim Rosenblatt, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the Mississippi College School of Law, the project came about when former Rep. Andy Gipson, now the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, came to the School of Law at MC and suggested they find a way to save the videos from debates among the Legislature, since at the time there was no history available. The site is maintained by the Law Librarians. Justin Huckaby the Research, Instructional Services and Circulating Librarian, currently maintains the site.
“So everyday that the Legislature is in session we capture the live web stream that the Legislature puts forth in both chambers,” said Huckaby. “What I will then do is edit the daily video down to the whole day of floor action and at that point I go through the daily action report to see exactly what bills are discussed.”
Those videos are then uploaded to the website and paired with the bill that pertains to the footage.
“We are the only service that in a very faithful and systematic way records those, “said Rosenblatt. “The way Justin has this set up, you can chose the full bill listing, you can search by keyword or you can search by author.”
The site has cataloged video’s all the way back to the 2012 Legislative Session. It is worth noting not all bills are represented in the forum, just those that stored conversation or debate on the floor.
You can also find more information on bills passed during session on the Mississippi Legislature website.