The Daily Gazette
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Digital printing moves through Assembly

The state Assembly approved a constitutional amendment that would end the requirement of printing a copy of each piece of legislation on paper.

This is the second passage of the proposal, which made its way through both house of the state Legislature last year and needs to pass the state Senate during this session. If approved by the state Senate, which is likely, and approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, it is set for a statewide referendum in the fall of 2014.

The state constitution currently requires a hard copy of each bill. The amendment would allow for the printing requirement

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, D-Westchester/ Putnam, said the late passage in the session was due to discussions about when to hold the referendum. In May, she said of the current printing requirement: "Having all this paper ... is just a waste of money."

Locally, Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville, has been championing this issue for years and was a co-sponsor of Galef's legislation.

"“If you visit our beautiful state Capitol, one thing that’s striking is the obscene amount of paper being wasted," Tedisco said in a statement. "Walk into the Assembly and Senate chambers and you’ll see reams of bills stacked up on members’ desks. And outside those legislative chambers you’ll find cartloads overflowing with stacks of unread bills still wrapped in twine waiting to be hauled away to the landfill."

There’s no reason to waste all this paper when a digital copy of the bill could suffice," he said.

Tedisco is also leading the charge for the Legislative Online Paperwork Reduction Act, which would end the printing of state agency, university, authority and legislative reports and digests. He said it would save millions and would not require a constitutional amendment.

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