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Congresswoman disagrees with sanctions for electronic device use on House floor

There's been some discussion in the last few weeks about freedom of speech, even if you disagree with what is being expressed.  There's also been calls for transparency from elected officials.  The Congress though has adopted rules that would sanction members for using electronic recording devices on the House floor. 


5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says there was talk last year of potential sanctions against members who participated in the sit-in to protest refusal to take up gun safety legislation.  Esty says they knew they were not permitted to use electronic recording devices, but wanted to get their message out to constituents.  The sit-in was led by civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis and Connecticut Congressman John Larson.


Esty says it's worth considering new ways for government to be as transparent as possible, especially as technology makes that possible.  Esty notes that technology is changing and people expect more candid interaction with their elected representative.  She says younger constituents, students specifically, have come to rely on Facebook Live, Periscope and other video streaming services to keep up with events.


The fine taken out of a member's paycheck is $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for the second offense of using an electronic recording device on the House floor.

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