Photo: Ronnie Pitman (Flickr)
Two legislative committees, one in each chamber, tested out the use of iPad tablet computers last session – almost completely eliminating the committees’ paper use. Buck Creek Republican Senator Brandt Hershman, who is spearheading the paperless initiatives, says it’s an issue that must be addressed sooner rather than later:
“We use something in the neighborhood of 17 tons of paper per year and there’s not only a significant environmental cost to that but a significant financial cost as well,” Hershman says.
Next session, two more committees will begin using iPads. The cost comes out of the General Assembly’s budget. Hershman says there are still problems to address, including issues with software and updating out-of-date technology in the Statehouse. But he says those problems are not insurmountable:
“I really don’t think we’re far away from a dramatic reduction,” he says. “Maybe not a complete elimination – and there are some legislators who will still want to use paper which they’ll certainly be allowed to do – but I think you’re talking we’re on the edge of a fairly dramatic change in the way we do business.”
Hershman says that change is likely three to five years away — and closer to three than five.