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New iPads For Texas Lawmakers Could Save Taxpayers Money

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT

Call it a sign of the times. The State of Texas is footing the bill for about 500 new iPads for state lawmakers and their staff.

House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel said each lawmakers office will be offered two iPads a piece, and it is up to them to take them.

“This really is a window into the state capitol,” Griesel said.

Griesel said the cost for the new iPads is about $250,000, and to update the eight-year-old laptops they were previously using would have cost the state double.

“Not only will you be learning more information from [lawmakers] but the members will be able to receive information from anywhere in the state about issues of importance,” Griesel said.

When legislative leaders decided not to buy new laptops, they went with the less expensive iPad option, which amounted to $250,000 in savings.

“The iPad will allow people anywhere in the State of Texas to look into our proceedings,” Griesel said.

Peggy Venable, the Texas director of Americans for Prosperity, is a watchdog for government spending. She said she supports a tool that makes the lawmakers more accessible to the public and enhances their accountability.

“Anything that enhances the transparency of government is worth the expense,” Venable said. “The more they use technology the greater opportunity we have to have a greater spotlight on what they are doing.”

Griesel said being more available and getting more information out to the public is a big reason why she thinks the iPads are a more efficient technology device.

“Every decision that we look at is ‘how can we push information out to our member’s constituents?’” Grielsel said.

By Cassie GalloNew iPads For Texas Lawmakers Could Save Taxpayers Money



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