Legislation sponsored by Senator Jean Stanfield that gives municipalities more options for publishing legal notices was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
Sen. Stanfield’s bill that changes the definition of qualified newspaper to give municipalities more options for publishing legal notices was advanced by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. (©iStock)
“Local newspapers are a valuable resource for delivering important information throughout our communities,” said Stanfield (R-8). “This legislation gives local governments more options for publishing required legal notices by expanding the types of papers that qualify under state law. It could provide residents who don’t subscribe to daily papers greater access to important legal notices that might impact them.”
Currently, state law stipulates that legal notices published by municipalities may only be posted in “qualified newspapers” that meet certain requirements. These include newspapers that are of general paid circulation, are published entirely in English, and have published consistently for no less than two years, among other criteria.
Senator Stanfield’s bill, S-3466, expands the number of available newspapers that local governments have at their disposal to satisfy their legal notice requirements.
The bill changes the definition of “qualified newspaper” to any printed publication that is published and circulated at least once a week, for 48 weeks of the year. It also removes the requirement that a paper has paid circulation to allow free papers to qualify.
“The goal of this legislation is to enable local governments to publish legal notices in newspapers where residents are more likely to have access and be informed,” Stanfield added. “This may also help community newspapers that have struggled in recent years to survive.”
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