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Two Committees Participate In iPad Pilot Program

One House and one Senate committee will use iPads to see if they are useful for legislators.

iPad

Photo: F. Yamada (Flickr)

Legislators could be using iPads soon in an attempt to upgrade technology and cut back on paper use.

Two committees – one in the House, one in the Senate – will participate in a pilot program in the upcoming session where members will be issued iPads to examine how the tablet computers affect the workflow of legislative business.

Wheatfield Senator Brandt Hershman says there are still obstacles to consider before expanding the program to the full legislature.

“One of the controlling factors is to ensure that we can do so in a fiscally conscious way,” he says.

Taxpayers will not foot the bill for the pilot program, and Hershman says with the General Assembly using 250 pounds of paper per legislator per session, there is considerable long-term savings potential. Recommendations from the committee also involve updating technology infrastructure, including building a website that can be viewed on a variety of devices, such as tablets and smart phones.

Ellettsville Senator Vi Simpson says she thinks the project has potential for the General Assembly and the public.

“There will, in the end, be better access to the information and everyone will be more able to follow a very complicated process,” she says.

The two committees for the pilot program will be chosen by the Legislative Council prior to the session beginning its 2012 business.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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