Paper work to end for state Legislature, if voters approve in November

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The state Legislature has passed the second constitutional amendment to allow it to go digital and stop printing stacks of bills on paper.

Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, has pushed for the change, saying the Legislature wastes literally tons of paper each year.

Tedisco PaperThe constitutional amendment would allow digital copies of legislation to be acceptable, instead of paper on legislators’ desk. The proposal will head to voters for approval in November.

“Mother Earth is smiling today and so are taxpayers because the New York State Legislature is about to go digital to stop the wasteful printing of bills that can easily be displayed electronically on a laptop, iPad, Kindle or some other mobile device,” Tedisco said in a statement. “This is a victory for taxpayers and for anyone who cares about reducing our carbon footprint.”

Tedisco said about 17,800 bills were introduced in the 2011-12 legislative session, and each one is printed — and so too are revisions.

Tedisco estimated that it costs $13 million a year to pay for the printing and $40 million to dispose of it all.

Tedisco is also proposing a similar initiative for state agencies and state universities and college. But that has yet to receive legislative approval.

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