Public Notice Modernization

The League is a strong advocate for a modernized approach to legal advertising. As traditional print newspapers consolidate and publish less frequently, it has become increasingly difficult and costly to local governments to meet the current advertising requirements. 

Municipalities are required to advertise notice of public meetings, proposed ordinances, contracts, requests for proposals and other official business in a newspaper of general circulation. In most instances, there is only one newspaper of general circulation in each municipality, eliminating the ability to seek competitive pricing.

The League supports authorization for municipalities to use optional and cost effective alternatives to traditional newspapers, such as pennysavers, merchandisers and other low-cost local newspapers, or to advertise on a municipal or statewide website.

Senate Bill 231 Summary

Senate Bill 231, introduced by Senator John DiSanto, would amend Title 45 (Legal Notices) providing local governments with various, more modern methods of advertising.

When an advertisement is required by law, a local government would be able to choose from a menu of advertising options, including: a newspaper circulated of printed generally in the local government’s county; the public website of the local government; and the public website of a newspaper or website with a primary purpose for posting advertisements. In addition to the required publication, a local government would be required to post a copy of the advertisement at its principal office or building in which they meet. If a local government is unable to post the advertisement at their principal office or meeting location, the county would provide a space where the local government would be responsible for posting the advertisement.

Local governments would also be required to adopt a resolution declaring their intent to use one or more advertising methods listed in the bill. The local government would provide public notice regarding the passage of the resolution and intent to use alternative advertising methods in all methods of advertising as adopted by the resolution.