May 24, 2022

After two Governor’s Council members side with Devaney, meeting livestreams restored

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After a month-and-a-half-long crusade by Governor’s Council member Marilyn Devaney to restore the Governor’s Council livestream, the video will return for the next meeting on April 27.

“I want to thank all of those organizations for supporting me,” Devaney said of organizations including the ACLU of Massachusetts, MassPIRG, the New England First Amendment Coalition and the Disability Law Center, who wrote a letter in support of restoring the stream.

“I was alone and I needed that support,” she added.

The stream began during the pandemic, when the State House was closed to the public. Early last month, though, the elected officials quietly ended the streaming capabilities once the State House opened to the public, to the ire of Devaney.

Devaney began several meetings with speeches about the importance of restoring the feed, while the other council members said the Governor’s Council, which appoints judges and grants commutations, among other duties, lacked the resources to stream the meetings. They also argued that a public citizen comes to the meetings and posts recordings of them on his website.

Devaney issued a motion to restore the livestream during a previous meeting, which died without a second.

Tuesday morning, two additional council members, Eileen Duff and Mary Hurley, issued a statement calling for the restoration of the stream using the same platform the state Legislature uses to stream every meeting.

“As a candidate and as a member of the Governor’s Council, I have repeatedly called for a more transparent and open Council,” Duff said, calling the streams “a matter of consistency, security and economics.”

Hurley called on the state to digitize Council records and “provide its staff with access to modern technology so that we may better serve our constituents.”

“I am so relieved that this matter is over and that the public has spoken and won,” Devaney said, declining to comment on Duff and Hurley specifically. She said that the decision to restore the stream, like the decision to end it, was made via private phone calls.

The Governor’s Council website has been updated to include a link to the YouTube livestream, and the line about the end of the stream has been removed.

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