2 Public Notice Bills Makes it Out of Committee in Virginia
Two Small Wins for On-Line Public Advocates and 2 losses.
It has been a busy week in the Virginia House of Delegates for legislation involving legal notices. Two losses and 2 small wins for on line public notice advocates.
The Virginia House Subcommitee on Cities, Counties and Towns failed to approve by a vote of 7-3 HB 773 on February 9, which would have given localities alternatives to publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality for legal ads and other notices of proposed action for charrter changes, referenda and public hearings .
The House Subcommittee on General Laws' #1 Housing Subcommittee "tabled" HB 812 on February 8, which would have eliminated the requirement that the Department of Historic Resources publish a notice of a public hearing on the designation or nomination of a historic district in a newspaper once a week for two successive weeks . By tabling a bill, I believe this means that they may come back to it but it is not likely.
The good news is that HB 234 that allows for a smaller print advertisement for notices about foreclosures of timeshares has made it out of the General Laws Committee by a large majority 19-2 on February 9. Instead wasting money by including comprehensive information about the property, the notice needs to include a contact who can provide the required information. This could be a blueprint for public notice legislation everywhere. Why not just say . "Hey there is going to be a hearing. Call us up or e-mail us and we will e-mail you or send you the information."
And the other piece of good news is that House Bill 1193 has made it out of committee by an ovewhelming 15-6 majority . For Procurement notices it would make it optional to publish notices in the newspaper for bid requests from the Department of General Services where it used to be required. It now moves to the full house of delegates for a vote.
Virginia has been one of the most active and progressive states for raising legislation to move notices out of print . Last year their were 4 bills proposed . This year 8 so far. But so far nothing has passed. Getting two bills before the House of Delegates is progress from last year, where all of the bills died in committee.
To read how other states are addressing this issue