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Measure Would Help Reduce Printing Costs; Protect Environment

(TRENTON) — Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Pamela R. Lampitt, Reed Gusciora, Elease Evans and Nellie Pou to require reports filed with the Legislature and governor to be submitted electronically was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.

“There is no reason that we should still be requiring paper filing of reports in the 21st century,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “The cost of producing multiple copies of full-color, high gloss reports that will eventually be thrown away does not mesh with our continuing efforts to streamline government and reduce costs to residents.”

Under the Lampitt/Gusciora/Evans/Pou bill (A-1541), any state department or agency required by law to submit periodic reports to the governor or the Legislature would be required to do so electronically, in lieu of providing a printed copy of the report. The measure also requires that, when filing a report, a notice of availability be electronically transmitted to the state librarian.

“Removing publication times will help get the information in these reports out to government and the public much more quickly,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer). “And that, in turn, should help loosen or remove some bureaucratic red tape.”

“Electronic filing is going to increase the level of transparency in government, no question about it,” said Evans (D-Passaic). “Providing everyone with near instant online access to these reports can only help improve the public’s engagement and education on a host of vital issues.”

“Cutting unnecessary publication costs is a quick and effective way for New Jersey to save money,” said Pou (D-Passaic). “In these tough economic times, e-filing reports is the smart thing to do.”

The bill was unanimously released from the Assembly State Government Committee. It now heads to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a vote.

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