Enviro CA: Green for thee, but not for me

Enviro CA: Green for thee, but not for me

California has gone green: mandatory recycling, plastic bags bans, hybrid and electric cars, wind and solar energy, and the state has gone paperless… well, not entirely paperless.home page

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly said he discovered something this week: the Capitol is not paperless, nor is it even close.

Donnelly, a Republican from Twin Peaks, said his office receives thousands of papers every month. He was looking at ways to become more efficient and reduce the stacks of paper.

His Capitol office and his district office have to fax papers back and forth, to keep each in the scheduling loop. In fact, Donnelly said, just about everything that comes into one office, must be shared with the other office.

Donnelly said he wanted a central place to put all of the information needing to be shared — he needed a scanner so his offices could share information and documents electronically, rather than by fax, which just creates more stacks of paper.

Assembly Rules Committee — not so green

So Tim Donnelly contacted the Assembly Rules Committee to get permission to purchase a scanner so his two offices could share everything digitally and they could lose the stacks of papers and mail.

The State of California even has a website dedicated to going green, run by the Department of General Services. The website highlights the state’s efficiencies:

Welcome to Green California!

California is reducing its environmental footprint through sustainable state government operations and practices including energy efficient building design and construction, renewable energy generation at state facilities, environmentally preferable purchasing, and green vehicle policies.


Donnelly said the Rules Committee told him every office would be getting new photocopiers by December, and they would have scanning capability.

Donnelly was thrilled — he looked for ward to ushering in efficiency and an end to the mountains of office paper.

Another government technical glitch

But efficiency in government is not to be. Donnelly said he received word from the Rules Committee that there is a technical glitch with the now photocopiers — they are not compatible with the state’s computers. The state’s IT folks can’t get the computers to work with the scanners, Donnelly said the Rules Committee told him, and it would be at least six months before they expected to fix this glitch.

“We’re the state that invented computers,” Donnelly said, incredulously. “I’m dumbfounded.”

It’s back to the fax machine…

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