AUGUSTA – Lawmakers in the Maine House of Representatives resoundingly rejected a proposal that would have allowed members to stream live videos of themselves or their colleagues during floor debates.

The idea to change the rules was offered by Rep. Matt Pouliot, R-Augusta, who said the change would help lawmakers keep their constituents better informed about their work in the Legislature.

But 104 House members said, ‘no’ during a roll-call vote on the rule change Thursday, while only 42 agreed Facebook Live should be allowed on the House floor.

Among those resisting the change was Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, the longest-serving member of the Legislature. Martin also opposed the change during a meeting of the House Rules Committee last week saying, “If I had my way, there would be no Facebook and no accounts out there, no tweakers or whatever else, and society would be a lot better off if they read the newspapers and watched the news.”

Martin said Thursday he didn’t even lobby on the issue because many lawmakers seemed to agree that House floor was not the place for Facebook Live or other types of live video. The state provides a live video feed online of the House when it is in session and also broadcasts the audio from Legislative committee meetings and other special hearings.

Under the current House rules a member can offer a live feed from their seat with prior approval of the Legislature’s governing body, the Legislative Council.

Scott Thistle can be contacted at 791-6330 or at:

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