NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (518) 455-5348(o) (914) 450-4086 (c)
Debbie Peck Kelleher, Investigation Committee Director, Senator Carl Marcellino
Galef/Marcellino Legislation Achieves Second Passage in Both Houses-
Constitutional Amendment Will Bring Legislature into Twenty-First Century
(June 24, 2013) Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Carl Marcellino are proud to announce both the New York State Assembly and Senate passed legislation that would provide members of both houses with the option to receive bills electronically rather than in print. The electronic option requires a change in the New York State Constitution which states that bills must be in printed format on individual legislator’s desks.
“This constitutional amendment will increase the Legislature’s efficiency, save trees, and save money,” Galef said. “We are in the technology age. When our constitution was first written, we did not have any of these advantages. Now we have an opportunity to eliminate paper, and reduce the use of printer ink as well as the labor involved in providing and then removing the volumes of paper that pile up under and around our individual desks. I am so pleased this legislation has passed both houses for the second time so that it can go to the people for a vote.”
Senator Marcellino said, “This is common sense legislation. Our founders could not have foreseen the way we communicate now, in the 21st century. Assuming the people of New York State agree, once enacted, this constitutional change will make us more efficient as a legislative body, while allowing us to save taxpayers money and go green.”
Bill A7868/S4417-A, was passed by the Assembly on June 18th and the Senate on June 20th. Because this is a constitutional amendment, it had to have passed in two successive legislative sessions, then it needs to be ratified by popular vote. The bill will go to the public in the general election in November 2014.
The legislation allows for bills to be transmitted electronically to legislators’ computers located on their desks. Senators or Assembly Members who prefer the paper option can still receive bills in that manner.
Galef concluded, “This is a major victory for the legislature as it will significantly reduce the amount of time, money, and paper used for the revision of bills. It is a win-win for the government, the environment, and the taxpayers of New York State.”
[Caption for Accompanying Picture: Assemblywoman Galef with stacks of printed bills that take time and staff to print, cost money, waste paper, and litter the legislative chambers.]