Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31) who represents parts of Prince William and Fauquier counties received praise from the News & Messenger. In an opinion article in the paper they praise Delegate Lingamfelter for uncovering $8 million in waste the state government spends on unnecessary printing.
As the paper puts it “These are the types of ideas we like to see from our legislators.”
Millions of reasons to thank Lingamfelter
Published: January 25, 2009
With a $3.2 billion budget shortfall staring down the Virginia General Assembly like a bull eyeing a matador who forgot his cape, tough decisions need to be made. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and others have scoured the budget looking for anything that can go. And then came Del. Scott Lingamfelter, R-31st, rushing into the bullring, capote in hand.
A revelation, which took place when he was staring at a pile of government-produced papers stacked in his home, brought Lingamfelter to an important and frugal question: “Just how much does it cost the government to print all of its worthless paper products anyway?”
Annual reports, executive agency studies and other products are churned out by the Virginia government and distributed out into the Ether, often never to be read. Given our modern Internet age, most of these printed items could simply be put online.
Lingamfelter put in a Freedom of Information Act request to the governor’s office and discovered that the state spends (wastes) more than $8 million a year on this stuff. Lingamfelter revealed his discovery to Kaine, and the governor instituted a freeze on unnecessary printing. As quick as that, Virginia has a little more money in its pocket.
These are the types of ideas we like to see from our legislators. While there are, of course, plenty of programs that must be reviewed, prioritized and, perhaps, eradicated, there are other places in the budget where money could be cut with barely a whimper. Lingamfelter found one from the comfort of his home, and he is to be commended for his perception and his action. He demonstrated one quality a legislator should have — discernment.
For in the end, this isn’t a Republican or a Democrat thing. Both parties should be in favor of eliminating waste. But the story we are told is that the Republicans do it better. Well, one point for the GOP, assist by Lingamfelter.