Tedisco: “Mother Earth Is Smiling Today And So Are Taxpayers” - Legislature To Go Digital

Legislature passes legislation to go paperless and stop the wasteful printing of bills
June 20, 2011
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today hailed the passage of legislation he co-sponsors (A.5274-A) that would enable the New York State Legislature to begin the transition to go paperless, by amending the constitution to stop the placement of paper copies of bills on the 212 legislative desks and permit a digital copy to suffice.

Tedisco has been outspoken about saving tax dollars and the environment by stopping the wasteful printing of bills that often go unread and end up getting tossed into landfills. The bi-partisan bill passed by both the Assembly and Senate is co-sponsored by Tedisco and sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining).

During this year’s budget debate, Tedisco highlighted the stacks of bills at his desk and uncovered that it costs taxpayers $13 million for legislative printing and a large portion of the $40 million for the state Office of General Services to haul waste away from the Legislature and state agencies.

“Mother Earth is smiling today and so are taxpayers because the New York State Legislature is going digital to stop the wasteful printing of bills,” said Tedisco, former Assembly Minority Leader and current Assistant Minority Whip. “This is a victory for taxpayers and for anyone who cares about reducing our carbon footprint.”

The Legislature also passed a bill co-sponsored by Tedisco (A.6870A) that allows real property documents to be filed electronically. Current law does not permit electronic filing of any real property documents, meaning individuals must hand deliver or mail these documents to their County Clerk’s office for filing. Under this bill, the e-recording option is voluntary, so filers can still submit documents by mail or hand-delivery if they choose not to do so online.

“This bill, which cuts down on paper usage and promotes greater government efficiency, is very much in synch with our holistic approach to encouraging government to go digital to protect the environment and save taxpayer dollars,” said Tedisco.

Both of the bills now will be sent to the Governor’s desk for his review and action.

“Every journey starts with a single step. But the next step is to pass my bill (A.6470) to 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,” said Tedisco.