Editor's note: IC Arizona and several other Arizona political news blogs strongly support this bill and will be at the hearing Thursday morning. Let's stop the newspaper monopoly over public notices.
by Lynne LaMaster, eNewsAZ
Right now, newspapers have a monopoly on the publication of Public Notices. You know, those ads you see in super-tiny print next to the want ads in the local paper?
Representative David Stevens, however, has a different idea. Let's allow Public Notices to be published online or in printed newspapers. If his bill passes, competition for Public Notices will go up, prices should go down. Taxpayers will benefit as their governmental agencies won't have to pay nearly as much in fees (estimated to be over $1.8 million in Arizona alone).
It will also make public notices more available world wide, allow for better, more readable formatting, better access for those with disabilities, and more information to be shared, such as links to maps, bid specifications, agendas and more.
Newspapers aren't supporting this because they believe they are the watchdog over Public Notices. They also question the ability for online entities to offer verification, and serve those who don't get the Internet.
There is a hearing Thursday morning at 9am in front of the committee, and they are going to vote on it. There is also a stakeholder's meeting Wednesday at 4pm.
Here are the committee members:
David Stevens (R) - bill sponsor
Sally Ann Gonzales (D)
Justin Pierce (R)
Carl Seel (R)
Bruce Wheeler (D)
Terri Proud (R)
Jeff Dial (R)
Please email or call them and let them know you support this bill. http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp
Bill info - http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=HB2403&Session_ID=107
Read Lynne's full analysis of why you should support HB 2403.