We had a bit of a tussle over the use of computers on the floor of the Colorado Senate yesterday.
You can read the Lyn Bartels’ story in the Rocky about it for all the information. But the bottom line is that the Democrats thought we were being fed questions to ask one of their weak members by an outsider. We weren’t; we are capable of thinking on our own.
Either way, I can’t understand why using the tools of modern technology upsets the Democrats in the Senate so much. Do they want us to go back to pencils and paper? I’d hate to do without Google for finding information on the quick and I’d rather search on my computer for a bill than rifle through my file cabinet.
I’m afraid that there is going to be an attempt force us to shut our computers off for the period that we are engaged in third reading and our final votes on bills. I hope not, because the rules are clear, we can have our computers on, but have to disconnect them from the Internet.
Here’s what the rules say:
(b) (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) (2) of this
rule, all wireless electronic devices including, but not limited
to telephone and such other communication devices used for
transmitting and receiving voice or data communications,
including but not limited to electronic mail and text
messaging, shall be rendered inoperable in the Senate
chambers, in the hearings of Senate committees, in Senate
party caucuses, or in any other official meetings of Senate
members held in the Capitol or the Legislative Services
(2) Laptop or notebook personal computers may be used in the
Senate chambers, in the hearings of Senate committees, in
Senate party caucuses, or in any other official meetings of
Senate members held in the Capitol or the Legislative
Services Building; however, during the third reading of bills
in the Senate chambers, laptop or notebook personal
computers shall be rendered inoperable for the purpose of
transmitting and receiving voice or data communications, including but not limited to electronic mail and text
(3) Wireless telephones and audible pagers or similar electronic
devices shall not be used in the Senate chambers or in the
gallery of the Senate chambers.
I certainly hope that we can have a bi-partisan solution to solving the Senate technology gap. We really should do away with these rules and come into the 21st Century.