Ind. Lawmakers Will Soon Do Official Business on iPads

Indiana lawmakers will soon be doing official business on iPads.
by | November 15, 2011
 

The Indiana legislature may soon abandon pen and paper for an iPad, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports, as the General Assembly's Data Processing Subcommittee broadens a pilot program allowing state lawmakers to use tablet computers for official business.

The program starts in January, according to the Times. Members of one House committee and one Senate committee, still to be determined, will receive tablets. Legislators are encouraged to utilize the iPads to read new legislation, take their own notes and communicate via email and social media with their constituents. Indiana lawmakers are already equipped with a laptop, but state Sen. Brandt Hershman told the Times that the convenience of the tablets could result in the legislature eliminating a requirement that all bills be physically printed before going to a vote.

"We believe switching to a tablet device will not only enhance efficiency but could lead to savings," Hershman said.

The savings could be substantial, according to the Times. The Legislative Services Agency estimates that each of the legislature's 150 members receive more than 250 pounds of paper during a legislative session at a cost of more than $500,000.

Funding budgeted for technology upgrades will be used to pay for the $499 to $699 iPads, the newspaper reports. The Data Processing Subcommittee will review the pilot program's success after the 2012 session and determine whether to extend the program to all legislators.

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