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A committee used video phone conferencing for the first time Tuesday

October 19, 1999
By: Hollie Maloney
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - For the first time in Missouri's history, a legislative committee used a Jetsons-like interactive video phone to receive live testimony.

Lawmakers saw and talked with Rep. Charles Perricone, Michigan Speaker of the House, via television screens, a dedicated phone line and an internet-like system that allowed Perricone -- all the way from Michigan -- to talk to the panel about the effects that term limits have had on that state's House.

"It lets people talk and see each other for the cost of a telephone call," said Mark Hughes, director of Senate Communications.

Sen. Larry Rohrbach, R-California, said he wanted everyone to know it was his suggestion.

"I wanted my constituents to know what a cutting-edge, 90's kinda guy they got," Rohrbach joked.

Committee Chairmen Ted Farnen, D-Mexico, said he was very impressed with the interactive system.

"This is something we could use in the future," he said.