IBJNews

Indiana legislative panel endorses test of iPads

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An Indiana legislative panel endorsed a pilot program Monday that would equip two General Assembly committees with iPads in the upcoming session as part of a push to cut the amount of paper used to print copies of bills for lawmakers.

The Legislative Council's data-processing subcommittee voted 3-0 Monday to endorse a report asking the full council to embrace the pilot iPad project. The 16-member council will consider that and other suggested technology upgrade recommendations at its Nov. 21 meeting.

Republican Sen. Brandt Hershman of Lafayette, who chairs the panel, said it heard compelling testimony Monday that about 250 pounds of paper is printed out for each of Indiana's 150 lawmakers each session in the form of various versions of bills and amendments.

Research by a Ball State University technology expert who testified before the panel also concluded that on average 11,400 pages are printed for each bill considered by lawmakers as the legislation meanders through the process.

Hershman said using iPads to review bills downloaded from a legislative website holds the potential to boost efficiency and cut down on printing costs. He said it's unclear how much those savings might ultimately be.

"We may be on a path toward becoming a leader in this process of going totally paperless, toward total adoption, but that's yet to be determined," Hershman said after Monday's meeting.

He said he's going to recommend that the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy committee adopt iPads for the pilot project. Hershman said the House Education committee could be the pilot committee in the House if the council approves the project.

All 100 of Indiana's House members and its 50 state senators are already assigned a laptop for use in their legislative duties. Hershman said he knows of only one lawmaker, whom he declined to name, who does not use their laptop.

The subcommittee's four members each received iPads earlier this year and have spent several months using the popular Apple tablet to determine how easy they are to use.

Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson, a Bloomington Democrat who's on the subcommittee, said that although she had some learning to do when she received her iPad, she now uses it considerably more than she does her state-issued laptop.

"It's a different keyboard. There's a little different feel to it. But as someone who doesn't do computers very well, I just love it. And the more I learn about it the easier it gets," she said.

Simpson said that as bills are discussed during legislative hearings she marks any changes into papers copies of those bills, along with questions she has about those measures. Sometimes, she misplaces her marked-up copies of bills and regrets when that happens.

But Simpson said she's been assured that adopting iPads will make it far easier for lawmakers to make such changes on digital versions of each bill without the risk of losing them. She also believes that if she and her colleagues do embrace iPads, the change will simplify the legislative process and make updated bills more quickly available to the public.

"Right now it's just so complicated: There's so many changes and so much paper that you have to get. But this could simplify things for the public as well as for us," she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

ADVERTISEMENT