Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today joined Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C-Brooklyn/Staten Island) to celebrate Earth Day by encouraging fellow lawmakers to opt out of receiving hard copies of legislative reports and documents that are already available in a digital format.
During the recent budget debate, Tedisco discovered it costs taxpayers $13 million for legislative printing and a large part of the $40 million for the state Office of General Services to haul waste away from the Legislature and state agencies.
“On Earth Day, as Assembly members, we can do our part to reduce the Legislature’s carbon footprint and save taxpayers money by unsubscribing from the Legislative Digest and scores of other paperwork that’s already accessible online,” said Tedisco.
“Hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper are needlessly printed each year by the Legislature, much of it going unread and tossed into landfills. This is no way to treat Mother Earth or taxpayer funds,” said Tedisco.
Tedisco’s first bill, (A.6469), would amend the constitution to stop the placement of paper copies of bills on the 212 legislative desks and permit a digital copy to suffice. Tedisco’s second measure, (A.6470), the “Legislative Online Digital Paperwork Reduction Act,” needs no constitutional change and would end the unnecessary printing of state agency and legislative reports, digests and the hundreds of thousands of bills that sit in the Assembly and Senate document rooms waiting for someone, anyone, to pick them up.
“At a time when families across New York are being asked to tighten their belts, state government must be expected to do the same,” said Malliotakis. “Ending the unnecessary process of printing hard copies of legislation will save taxpayer money and help protect our environment. State government must seize this opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint while reducing the cost to the taxpayer.”