State Senate Bill 37, authored by Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, which would require state agencies to provide electronic pay stubs to employees who participate in the direct deposit program, passed the Senate unanimously on Wednesday.

According to the state controller, SB 37 could save the state as much as $3.7 million annually by cutting printing costs.

“Senate Bill 37 will take us into the 21st century,” Strickland said. “During a fiscal emergency and a downward economy, we need to think about ways to save mone,  and this is a step in the right direction.”

SB 37 would allow state employees who participate in the direct deposit program to electronically receive their statement of earnings. Those employees who do not wish to participate have the option of continuing to receive a paper version. The bill will be contingent upon the funding of the state controller’s 21st century project, which would have the capabilities to carry out this function.

“California is in financial crisis. Our unemployment rate has hit a record high of 11.9 percent. It is times like these that legislators must push for ways to save our state valuable money,” Strickland said.

SB 37 now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

— Matt Guthrie is a communications director for Sen. Tony Strickland, who represents California Senate District 19.