June 21, 2011

Assembly Legislation Starts Process Of
Paper-Free Legislature
Measure Initiates Amendment of Constitution
to Allow Electronic "Aging" of Legislation

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Member Sandy Galef announced today the recent passage of legislation that is the first step in amending the state constitutional requirement to print paper copies of each introduced bill for members. If adopted, the amendment would enable the House to transmit bills to legislators electronically.

"With todayís evolving technology, we can save a significant amount of time, money and paper by providing legislation to members in an electronic rather than a printed format," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "This legislation would continue each memberís access to proposed legislation while enabling the Assembly to achieve significant savings on printing and paper costs."

"By becoming a more paper-free legislature, we will not only reduce spending and use fewer natural resources, we will also be able to work more efficiently during our legislative proceedings," said Galef (D-Ossining).

This legislation (A.5274/Galef) specifies that a bill would be deemed "printed and on Membersí desks" if the bill is in a legible electronic format available for review at the desks of members. Any additions, deletions or other changes made to the bills would be similarly recorded. Members will still be able to obtain a paper version of any legislation as needed.

It is anticipated that ultimate passage of this constitutional amendment will result in significant savings on printing and paper costs.

This concurrent resolution is the first passage of a proposed constitutional amendment. In order to amend the constitution, such a concurrent resolution must be passed twice by the legislature, during two separate legislative sessions. The next legislative session begins in January, 2013. If passed, the amendment would then be voted on by the people at the November, 2014 general election.