JEFFERSON CITY — People will need to go online to read the latest information on Missouri's official state symbols, the roster of government employees and the state's laws.
Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday that ended the mandatory printing of the official state manual every two years and state statute books. Both the official manual — called the Blue Book — and the state's laws already are available on the Internet.
Nixon said it does not make sense to continue paying to print the books when the information can be accessed online. The governor's office estimates the legislation would save about $1.7 million over two years.
"The need and demand for paper copies was no longer there," Nixon said. "This is a common sense change that will save taxpayer money."
Missouri law had required the secretary of state's office to print 40,000 copies of the Blue Book biennially. Of those books, 23,100 are reserved for lawmakers and 7,000 are sent to government officials, school and the news media. The rest are available to the public.
The most recent edition of the official manual cost about $363,000 to print.
A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said Thursday that the office would continue to ensure Missourians have access to the information in the books.