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  • 11Jul

    Hawaii Senate Paperless Initiative

    In December 2007, Hawai’i Senate President Colleen Hanabusa launched the Senate’s Paperless Initiative for the 2008 Regular Session (January 16 to May 1). The Initiative’s goals were twofold: (1) improve the public’s access to the legislative process, and (2) limit the number of paper documents generated and consumed by the Senate and the community. The initiative replaced many printed documents with electronic copies in an effort to improve Senate operations, provide enhanced access to legislative information, and reduce waste.

    For our Senators, this initiative transformed chamber floor sessions so that by the end of our 2008 session, over 90 percent of our members were solely using their Senate issued laptops to access our interactive Order of the Day (OD) in their caucus discussions and on the chamber floor. For the public, participation in the legislative process became more accessible as they could submit testimony via e-mail as well as view all measures, committee reports, and testimony submitted on any measure via the Legislature’s website. Public hearing notices posted on our website were also interactive, containing links to the above documents.
    At the end of this 2008 session, we compared paper usage statistics from the 2007 regular session and found that we had reduced our paper usage by 60 percent, having used 6,707,084 less sheets of paper, or, saving the equivalent of 725 trees. Additionally, our website statistics indicated that subscribers to RSS (really simple syndication) feeds from the Legislature’s website tripled from 714,482 hits to 2,561,907 hits between January to April 2008.

    Posted by herman @ 9:37 pm

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