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Bank Note Paper Shortage Continues, With An End In Sight

A shortage of the bank note paper used to print birth and death certificates in California could end next month.

The only U.S. supplier went out of business without notice in August, leaving more than half of California's counties with less than four months of supply.

"I think it's a very big deal," says Rob Grossglauser, the lobbyist for the County Recorders' Association of California. "One of those things, when it doesn’t work or it’s not available, people realize how important it is."

Many counties have begun rationing, limiting those seeking birth or death certificates to a single copy.

The state contracted with another supplier this month, in Canada. California public health director Karen Smith says paper shipments should begin arriving in mid-November.

"We’re really close to a time when most counties will be able to resume business as usual," says Smith.

But Grossglauser says as many as 10 counties are at risk of running out of paper before then. Two already have.

Ben Bradford

State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covers California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio