Update on HB 7049 (Public Notice Bill)
The time is NOW!
Please take a few minutes to listen to founder Jake Seaton of Column as he shares his take on how to position ourselves as an association to win public notice moving forward. He and his Column team have moved to South Florida and are committed to helping all of us make a difference in the local communities we serve in providing Floridians adequate notice by leveraging their tech to make Public Notice seamless and a no brainer for Government Agencies to use newspapers for many more years to come.
If you haven’t heard Governor DeSantis signed the bill yesterday so that it now becomes law with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2023. We have previously summarized the bill and a list of Q and A’s is being finalized and soon will be posted to the FPA website public notice resource page and will appear in the next FPA e-bulletin.
As the bill moves forward towards implementation, it will be important to keep in mind that the bill gives government agencies under the option to use the county’s official website if certain requirements are met. However, in choosing this route, officials should be clear/informed of the various downsides they will face. These include additional costs by the government entity including additional staffing and procurement, first class mailing, preparing affidavits, etc., and the added liability and possible project delays for notices that may be deficient or untimely. Members should communicate these points to officials (which will be outlined in further detail in the Q and As, above) when the opportunity arises.
Finally, it is important for members to continue providing excellent customer service to their government clients regarding the intake, pricing, and placement of legal ads. The ease by which government employees can fulfill their notice obligations will go a long way to keep counties and cities coming back to newspapers. Use and nurture your relationships with local government staff and timely address any problems or issues they might raise. Find and use the most efficient, accessible, and transparent newspaper platform. This will not only help preserve the notices where they belong–in the local paper–but also keep citizens better apprised of what city hall is doing with their tax dollars.
Our PN Marketing and Communications Task Force will continue to meet regarding these issues. Please contact either Jim or Sam if you have any questions.