Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis is spearheading a proposal to eliminate the waste of hundreds of printed documents in Albany to save money as well as the environment.
On Tuesday, October 7, Malliotakis was joined by Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairperson Jerry Kassar and New York State Conservative Party Chairperson Mike Long at the New York State Conservative Party office, to raise awareness for Ballot Proposal 2, which would eliminate the excessive paper waste, and which is up before voters on Election Day, November 4.
“When I walked to my desk, I couldn’t believe the amount of paper that was wasted on each of the 213 legislators. Over a two-year cycle, there are over 12,000 bills introduced. That’s a lot of paper,” said Malliotakis. “When I saw this, I thought, this is absolutely ridiculous. When we talk about changing the culture of Albany and reforming state government, we talk often about corruption and the need to cut bureaucracy; cutting waste like this is another prime example.”
Malliotakis believes that the advances in technology would ease the transition to eliminate the dependence on paper. “It’s an environmentally responsible thing to do as well in this age of tablets, smartphones and laptops,” she said. “Every legislator has one. All the bills are already online for review.”
If the proposal were to pass, the assemblymember, along with Long and Kassar believes it would save taxpayers a lot of money. “The rough estimate is $13 million,” said Malliotakis. “This is a good starting point but if we could expand it to state agencies, imagine the amount of money we could save.”
Kassar said that voters must turn to the back of the ballot to vote on the proposal. “The key is the back of ballot,” he stressed. “You have to turn over. Many voters become nervous when they go to vote. But taxpayers could be saving themselves a lot of money by turning that paper over and voting yes for number 2.”
The reason why voters get to decide is that the process by which bills are approved is codified in the state Constitution, said Malliotakis.
“It’s part of the original Constitution of New York that bills need to sit on legislator’s desk for three days. That was in old days,” she said. “That was when we didn’t have 21st century technology and it’s certainly outdated. For me, this is a common-sense approach.