Among the most interesting Roundhouse traditions is that of waiting. The 'in-between times' after something and before something else are a little magical in how subjectively we experience them.
I took a comfortable train on a cold day to Santa Fe for the opening of the 2013 New Mexico Legislature and arrived perfectly on time for the wait. The Governor was scheduled to speak at 1:00pm and started at about 2:00pm. But this is not considered late at the Roundhouse where time is warped by various necessities that defy regular clocks.
The fact of waiting obscures how much is going on in the in-between. The members of the legislature are famously overwhelmed with constant activity. Of course those employed during the session are dancing fast with specific responsibilities and divisions of labor. They are counted on to learn and repeat their steps with increasing speed in a sort of red shoes dance until the end of the session when they all fall down exhausted.
Much in-between time is consumed by countless small proprieties and ceremonies that change very little from year to year. The portentous gavel knocking, endless introductions, prayers and pledges are all part of the historic choreography. As are the pretentious announcements of decisions made during other in-between times.
Changing tradition is hard, including the tradition of bill-making. Opening legislative committee meetings to webcasting - adding a public eye into previously sparsely attended late- night committee meetings is not how it's always been done. Progress is slow. Senate restrictions on archiving in particular are likely to limit effectiveness.
Webcasting is likely to change the committee meeting tradition and improve transparency and public awareness. But back room deals will never be made in the front of the room. A consequence of increased committee transparency may be that agreements are made outside of committees. While we wait in the in-between time.