PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Some state lawmakers will be taking part in a pilot project-as they try out using iPads instead of laptops beginning with the coming legislative session. Legislative Research Council Director Jim Fry says that about 30 of the devices have been distributed to some veteran members who have volunteered to be part of the iPad project. The project will run for the next two years-according to Fry.
Fry says it’s believed the iPads will be helpful to most lawmakers in keeping lots of information in one small package-and he thinks the devices will reduce costs, as well.
In addition to other helpful features, the iPads will have an app that will provide lawmakers with various committee agendas. He says it will list all the bills that will be looked at in each committee session and the app will allow lawmakers to take notes during the committee via a keyboard or by writing with the use of a stylus. Fry says an iPad training session has already been held.
For lawmakers who aren’t part of the iPad project, the LRC is providing some new computers. The previous laptops were four years old-and were kept longer than normal to save money.
The LRC also held new legislator training last week-as incoming lawmakers were updated on such details as how to draft and introduce legislation, how floor sessions are conducted, legislative terminology and much more.
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