Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) says that legislation to allow Albany to operate paperless will save the state tens of millions of dollars in overhead each year.
“The tons of paper printed in Albany are ridiculous in the 21st Century and a total waste of government resources,” Ball stated. “The legislature spends tens of millions of dollars to meet a Constitutional requirement better suited for the days of Teddy Roosevelt. There are a few Senators and Assembly members who may have served with Teddy Roosevelt, but not many, and most operate with a laptop and a cell phone. It’s time to go digital and read these bills online before they are sent to a printer. If we are serious about operating a more efficient government, we will adopt the necessary amendment to go paperless.”
Each year, Ball’s office said, thousands of bills are introduced (11,700 during the 2009-10 legislative term) and every single measure gets printed multiple times. Though there is not a specific line item for legislative printing costs, it may cost taxpayers up to $26 million according to a recent estimate cited by Ball’s office.
Lawmakers have introduced bills as early as 2001 to allow Albany to go paperless, including recent legislation by Senator Joseph Robach.
Ball is one of two state senators appointed to the Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Savings and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission.