South Dakota lawmakers attempt to go paperless

File photo.
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Pierre, S.D. - Lawmakers in Pierre return to the Capitol Tuesday to begin Week 2 of the South Dakota State Legislature.

The pomp and circumstance of week 1 are now over and the slow roll of committee meetings, budget discussions, and lengthy floor sessions have begun.

Lawmakers this year are also adapting to a new paperless filing system which allows them to electronically file bills and move legislation between the House and Senate digitally.

Previously, only printed paper documents were allowed and were moved by hand from one changer to the other. The new process is designed to improve efficiency and speed up the process.

Legislative Research Director Jason Hancock says the move to paperless, “couldn’t be put off any longer.”

But it’s not without its growing pains. While some legislators are comfortable working entirely in a digital domain, others prefer flip phones and pen and paper.

Hancock recently told the Legislature’s Executive Board, “it’s a work in progress” which brought a quick retort from one member.

“It’s work, I’ll give you that,” said Senator Troy Heinert.

Today is Legislative Day 5 of 37 of the 95th Session of the South Dakota State Legislature.