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Category: Legal Update

Monitor Your Local/County Government re: Website-Only Option

While the new public notice bill (HB 7049) is not effective until Jan. 1, 2023, we have heard that at least one county is already meeting to discuss the possibility of implementing the county website-only public notice option contained in the new bill. The first step for this county will be to determine what current…
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From the Legal Hotline (1-877-NEWS-LAW)

Q. We received a “press release” from a law firm notifying the public of a breach of protected health information. I don’t know if this is a new ploy or what. I don’t remember ever receiving a press release by certified mail under the pretense of it being a legal notice. Is this something that…
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From the Legal Hotline (1-877-NEWS-LAW)

Q. A local county commissioner has been texting during meetings and I plan to send her a public records request asking for copies of those texts. Does the texting violate the SL and are they public records? A. The Sunshine Law requires boards to meet in public. They may not take action or engage in…
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From the Legal Hotline (1-877-NEWS-LAW)

Q. We are thinking about bringing on an associate editor and whether or not this person would be an exempt employee. His duties would involve editorial control but not management of personnel. I am aware of the FLSA overtime rule. There is an exemption for small market outlets, but the definition is markets with a…
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From the Legal Hotline (1-877-NEWS-LAW)

Q. One of our local towns published a notice for a public hearing for a planning and zoning board meeting in the local free newspaper, which by current law, is not the legal organ for our area. They did not publish the ad for the public hearing in our newspaper – which is currently the…
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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…
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From the Legal Hotline (1-877-NEWS-LAW)

Q. I am a reporter for our newspaper in Central Florida. I was informed of a town council meeting that took place last night where five of the six members were present. The members unanimously appointed a council member to the vacant council seat left after a council member recently stepped down. While the council…
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From the Legal Hotline (1-877-NEWS-LAW)

Q. Regarding the new public notice legislation, what historical circulation data does the auditor need in order to certify that the newspaper meets the audience thresholds under the legislation, HB35 passed in 2021, and HB7049 in 2022? A. While the legislation does not speak to the issue, we think 2 years of such data is…
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Legislative Wrap Up Report, 2022 Session

Public Notice Bill (HB 7049) (by Judiciary; State Affairs Committees, Reps. Fine, Grail, Fischer) As previously reported, the legal notice bill, HB 7049, giving governmental agencies the option to place legal notices on county websites, and making other changes, passed the House and Senate and is now pending before the Governor for approval. FPA has…
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Legal Notice Bill HB 7049 Passes House and Senate; Sent to Governor for Approval

The legal notice bill, HB 7049 giving governmental agencies the option to place legal notices on county websites, and making other changes, passed the House and Senate last week and is now headed to the Governor for approval. Background The bill passed despite the compromise reached last year and the many hours of time and…
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