Leaders of the Kansas Legislature have offered bipartisan support for development of an estimated $5 million plan for modernizing audio and visual technology at the Capitol to improve communication access to meetings.

The Reflector reports the idea is to overhaul equipment at the statehouse so legislators can more easily participate from afar, while improving the public’s ability to observe action on the House and Senate floor and during committee meetings of both chambers.

The Legislative Coordinating Council gave approval for planning to continue, regardless of whether federal CARES Act funding is allocated for the project.

“This is something we probably should have done a few years ago,” said Senator Carolyn McGinn, a Sedgwick Republican who chairs the Senate’s budget committee. “The pandemic has made it more important.”

The Legislature has struggled with technology breakdowns after COVID-19 forced an early end to the 2020 session.

During the LCC meeting, it was difficult at times to hear comments by some of the seven council members.