State House Technology
Rep. Stephen Bowen (R - Rockport) is an eight-grade teacher who wants legislators to have the same tools as his students. From the AP:
Bowen said use of e-mail and the Internet could dramatically reduce spending on paper.
Rep. A. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the computers should remain at the Legislature for use only during the day. He said they would be state property reserved for future lawmakers´ use.
Bowen said the state's buying power would reduce the cost initially and save on printing over the long run.
While some new legislators may need to be trained, Bowen said it would be no different than preparing teachers when the state put laptops into the middle schools.
"I would love for us to pull this institution into the 21st century," he said.
For an idea of how this could work to improve the functioning of the legislature, check out this essay from the Maine Policy Review way back in fall of '98.
[Update] Baldacci is "not on the DL. He's day to day." after his fall this morning.
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