New York Electronic Bills Amendment (2014)
|Electronic Bills Amendment|
|Constitution:||New York Constitution|
|Referred by:||New York Legislature|
|Status:||On the ballot|
The New York Electronic Bills Amendment is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of New York as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would allow legislative bills to be distributed in an electronically written format rather than paper copies.
Section 14 of Article III of the New York Constitution states: “No bill shall be passed or become a law unless it shall have been printed and upon the desks of the members, in its final form, at least three calendar legislative days prior to its final passage…” In sum, this provision mandates that bills must be delivered in print and paper form. Utilizing a tablet or laptop to deliver a bill is therefore unconstitutional.
On average, the New York Legislature prints 19 million pages every two years, including the full text of all legislative bills. Officials estimate that the legislature spends $325,000 on paper and ink for printing bills during each legislative session.
The measure was sponsored in the New York Legislature by Rep. Sandy Galef (D-95) and Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-5).
|Independent Redistricting Amendment|
|Electronic Bills Amendment|
|Bonds for School Technology|
- Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-5)
- Rep. Sandy Galef (D-95)
- Rep. Didi Barrett (D-106)
- Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-119)
- Rep. David Buchwald (D-93)
- Rep. Karim Camara (D-43)
- Rep. William Colton (D-47)
- Rep. Jane Corwin (R-144)
- Rep. Michael DenDekker (D-34)
- Rep. Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-81)
- Rep. Dennis Gabryszak (D-143)
- Rep. Brian Kavanagh (D-74)
- Rep. Ellen Jaffee (D-97)
- Rep. William Magnarelli (D-129)
- Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-64)
- Rep. Steven Otis (D-91)
- Rep. N. Nick Perry (D-58)
- Rep. Samuel Roberts (D-128)
- Rep. Angelo Santabarbara (D-111)
- Rep. Frank Skartados (D-104)
- Rep. James Skoufis (D-99)
- Rep. Phil Steck (D-110)
- Rep. James Tedisco (R-112)
- Rep. David Weprin (D-24)
- Rep. Keith Wright (D-95)
- Rep. Kenneth Zebrowski (D-96)
- He complained about the excessive amount of paper, saying, "It’s on our desk, it’s underneath our desk, it’s in our desk, it’s in the hallways, it’s in the document rooms — we’re surrounded by paper."
- He noted, “With the hubbub over passing a constitutional amendment to allow for casino gambling in New York, there's been little discussion about another amendment that could really save tax dollars; enabling state government to go digital. Our founding fathers were wise but they never envisioned iPads, laptops, and smart phones as a means of delivering information.”
- Tedisco noted that the measure both saves tax dollars and is environmentally friendly. He argued, "We're moving the state government into the 21st century with its communications. With passage of this legislation, in November 2014, voters will have the opportunity to save tax dollars and make mother earth smile."
Other arguments include the following:
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the New York Constitution
The measure was referred to the ballot after being approved by both houses in successive terms by simple majority. S4417A was approved for a second time by the New York State Senate on June 20, 2013. A7868 was approved for a second time by the New York State Assembly on June 18, 2013.
June 20, 2013 Senate vote
|New York S4417A Senate Vote|
June 18, 2013 Assembly vote
|New York A7868 Assembly Vote|
- New York State Assembly, "A07868 Summary," accessed January 20, 2013
- New York State Assembly, "S04417 Summary," accessed January 20, 2014
- New York Times, "Albany, Long Buried in Paper, Resolves to Save a Small Forest," August 10, 2014
- Legislative Gazette, "Legislature votes to go paperless," June 24, 2013
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