Action Needed—Bad Public Notice Bill Filed (JDC2)
Last Friday the House Judiciary Committee filed a proposed committee bill placing legal notices on government websites.
It appears to be the same or very similar to the bill that has passed on the House side the last couple of sessions. The bill is obviously very problematic and since it is committee bill, it is being pushed by leadership.
The bill was heard Tuesday, and despite a good deal of opposition testimony, the Committee passed the bill on a party line vote 14 to 5. The next stop will be the House floor.
At this point, there is no Senate companion but we are meeting with leadership and watching for any movement in that chamber.
Placing legal notices on governmental websites, as this bill would do, is a bad idea for the many reasons you are familiar with and are outlined in the hand-outs below.
Also, keep in mind, that this last-minute bill terminates the reasonable and sensible compromise that was reached last year in HB 35, which just became effective Jan 1, 2022. That good bill expanded the types of newspapers that qualify for the posting of public notices under Chapter 50 thereby furthering the goal of increasing reach and competition, and thereby reducing the cost of notices. The bill also allows government agencies to opt to publish government notices solely on a qualified newspaper website if a vote is taken and broadband is available, thereby potentially reducing government costs.
The newspaper industry, bill sponsors and others spent a lot of time and resources to implement this good bill and it needs to be given a chance.
Thank you in advance for your support!