Christine Stuart photo
Sen. Ed Meyer and Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (Christine Stuart photo)

In celebration of Earth Day, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and state Sen. Ed Meyer, D-Guilford, asked the General Assembly to pass a bill that could save two tons of paper a year. 

The bill would require all businesses in the state to file their annual reports online instead of filing them on paper and mailing them to the secretary of state’s office.

“We would be going green in a major way,” Bysiewicz said. The state would be cutting expenses and modernizing itself. She explained that filing reports by paper is slow. If the bill is passed the state wouldn’t have to purchase paper or postage, saving the state $300,000 per year, she said.

Meyer said the chances of the bill’s success if very good. He said the new bill is a way of returning something good to the Earth.

Twenty percent of businesses in Connecticut already file their reports online, Bysiewicz said. The state is looking for 98 percent of businesses to participate in the electronic filing if the bill is passed. There would be a $100 penalty for businesses that fail to comply and some businesses may qualify for an exemption because they lack Internet access.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Meyer said.

So far there is a 35 percent non-compliance rate seen for filing annual reports. 

“It’s the small tweaks that can make a difference,” Sue Merrow, an environmental lobbyist, said in favor of the bill. “What’s good for the environment is good for the economy.”

If this bill is passed, companies don’t need to worry about security issues and information being on the Web. Bysiewicz said all the information from annual report filings already goes directly online once it’s mailed to her office.