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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill to end requirement for newspaper legal ads postponed



TALLAHASSEE – A House committee postponed voting on a bill that would eliminate a requirement that governments run legal advertisements in newspapers.

  The move came a day after the Senate killed a similar bill in that chamber.
Under the House bill proposed by Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, local governments could use their Web sites for the legally required advertisements and public notices. Such notices cover everything from zoning changes to code enforcement actions.
Workman proposed a similar bill last year that did not make it out of the House. The House's government operations subcommittee postponed the bill amid questions and proposals from members.
The legislation is opposed by a variety of organizations, from the Florida Press Association to the Associated Industries of Florida. Their reasons include the lack of Internet access for large parts of the state’s population, particularly the elderly, and the vulnerability of the Internet to hackers and viruses.
Workman said after the committee meeting that he’s only trying to end what he calls a $50 million unfunded mandate that supports one industry. He acknowledged the failure of the Senate bill to move forward could hurt his chances but said he thinks his legislation will pass one day in the future.
He said Gov. Rick Scott, for one, supports the legislation. “The time of reckoning is coming,” he said.

[Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2011 11:37am]


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