DIVISION OF THE BUDGET
DAVID A. PATERSON, GOVERNOR
December 21, 2009 CONTACT: Matt Anderson
GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES E-BUDGET INITIATIVE TO SAVE TAXPAYER DOLLARS AND REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
State Will Eliminate Full Printed Version of Executive Budget Books, Saving 5.5 Million Sheets of Paper, 660 Trees, and $75,000 per Year; Full Set of Budget Documents will continue to be Available over the Internet, Ensuring State Financial Information Remains Transparent and Accessible to the Public
Governor David A. Paterson today announced that he will implement a new E-Budget initiative to help save taxpayer dollars and reduce environmental impacts. As part of his continued efforts to streamline State operations and improve government efficiency through the Office of Taxpayer Accountability, he will eliminate the costly and redundant full printed version of his 2010-11 Executive Budget Books, while continuing to post those documents on the internet.
“With the State facing historic fiscal challenges, we cannot leave any stone unturned when it comes to reducing the cost of government,” Governor Paterson said. “In the internet age, printing millions of pages of budget books each year is inefficient and unnecessary. This E-Budget initiative will save taxpayers thousands of dollars and reduce environmental impacts, while still ensuring that Executive Budget information is transparent and accessible to the public.”
In 2009-10, the State printed 2,700 sets of Executive Budget documents. Each of these sets contained five separate books, which detailed the Governor’s proposed budget initiatives and other fiscal information. Stacked end-on-end, those documents would have been taller than the Empire State Building. No longer printing a full set of Executive Budget Books will save an estimated 5.5 million sheets of paper, 660 trees, and $75,000 per year.
The Division of the Budget’s website (www.budget.state.ny.us) will continue to include PDF (Portable Document Format) versions of each Executive Budget book in exactly the same format as it would have appeared in paper. An easily accessible, plain-language, hyper-link-format briefing document with an itemized listing of each proposed action that Governor Paterson puts forward in his Executive Budget will also continue to be posted online.
As required by State law, Governor Paterson will still provide each member of the Senate and Assembly with a printed copy of his proposed appropriation and Article VII legislation for the 2010-11 Executive Budget. Additionally, the Division of the Budget will continue to supply a limited-run printed briefing book to members of the press to help assist them in meeting immediate internet, wire, and television deadlines on the day the budget is released. This briefing book will also be provided to legislators on budget day.
The Division of the Budget conducted a survey of other state budget offices and found that 22 have either fully or partially eliminated their paper budget books in favor of internet publishing.
A picture of the Executive Budget books for the last sixty years dating back to the World War II era (1940-41) is available at www.budget.state.ny.us/pubs/press/2009/Budget-Books.jpg.
A picture of the 2009-10 Executive Budget books is available at www.budget.state.ny.us/pubs/press/2009/09-10ExecBudBooks.jpg.
For more information about Governor Paterson’s efforts on fiscal and budgetary reform, please visit the Governor’s Office of Taxpayer Accountability website at www.taxpayer.ny.gov.