Nevada is paving the way for online school board and PTA meetings.

An upgrade to the Nevada Legislature web site now allows anyone on the internet to tune into proceedings in the Assembly and Senate and in hearing rooms.

Using RealPlayer software, anyone interested in following the process can listen to any of the legislative hearings simply by clicking on a room number.

While the web site had already included biographies on lawmakers, texts of bills, committee schedules and agendas, the new addition gives the public unprecedented access, Legislative Counsel Bureau chief Lorne Malkiewich says.

Malkiewich said Assembly Speaker Joe Dini and Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio told him to have all the rooms wired for broadcasting. Within a few weeks, he expects all the rooms will be finished.

“This is a benefit to everyone,” said Malkiewich.

Most states’ capital cities aren’t in the most populated areas, and the home page can bring in many more people to the legislative process, he added. “There’s a lot of valuable information there,” he said. “We were one of the last states to put a web site up, but I think we are now one of the better ones out there.”

Copies of bills will be available online before printed versions this year, and will be easier to read with the addition of line and page numbers. A search engine is available to locate bills by subject. A recording and written text of Gov. Kenny Guinn’s state of the state address are also available.

“This is a window to the public that’s a tremendous tool,” Malkiewich said.

Nevada State Legislature

http://www.leg.state.nv.us