Wednesday, March 27, 2013

TENNESSEE-Dumbest Legal Notice Bill Yet. Newspapers Must Post Notices Online. Saves No Taxpayer Money and Mandates Nothing New.


TENNESSEE-Dumbest Legal Notice Bill Yet. Newspapers Must Post Notices Online. Saves No Taxpayer Money and Mandates Nothing New.

We've been covering legal notice bills for over 2 years and thought we've seen every possible bill proposed. The State Senate of Tennessee further wasted legislators' time and taxpayers' money by approving Senate Bill 461, sponsored by State Senator Ken Yager which changes absolutely nothing. There are no savings for the cash-strapped municipalities because the newspapers continue to charge outrageous rates for print notices in newspapers with dwindling circulations. The Newspapers of Tennessee already publish legal notices on a little used website and many of them already publish them on their own websites.
So then why bring up the bill? Because newspapers in the future want to be able to defend their franchise against online-only public notice bills by saying "why change the bill, it's in the law that we already publish notices online?"
Over $1 million per year is wasted in Tennessee publishing legal notices in print.
Surprisingly (ha ha) the Tennessee Newspaper Association supports this bill because they continue to be subsidized by local governments placing notices in their newspapers at an absurd markup. 


It also looks like our Western North Carolina editors are also chiming in on what we see Senator Dr. Wade and her public notice bill #186. The Cherokee Scout had a editorial on keeping government in sunshine CLICKHERE . In the editorial was this:

"While we hope SB 186 will not pass, there is a compromise proposed in the state House of Representatives that could end the long battle over public notices.

    The soon-to-be-proposed bill would require all public notices continue to be published in a newspaper of paid general circulation and also require all public notices to be published on the newspaper’s Web site as well as on a statewide Web site maintained by the N.C. Press Association. The compromise also provides a 15 percent reduction in price for publishing all notices required by law that run more than once and whose cost is not borne by private parties.

    We urge state Sen. Jim Davis (R-Franklin) to defeat SB 186 and get behind the upcoming House bill. "

As you see from the above editorial and what you see in Tennessee this will save no money and keeps the status quo for the paid monopolistic taxpayer funded money train to newspapers all over this state.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Government should meet in secret, not publish legal notices at all, refuse all media contact and post new laws on a piece of paper nailed to the guillotine in the middle of each town's square. Those who oppose this should be beheaded. People. What do they know? Government operates best when it gets to do what it wants out of public view.

Seriously... government should be watched. The purpose for printing notices in newspapers has not changed... newspapers should have eyes on these notices because the eyes of the media are the eyes of the people. Taking away third party publication and putting government in control of its own messages, their content, avoiding checks and balances against their power and not holding them accountable doesn't seem logical. This is the equivalent of the ignorant first paragraph I posted above this one. Don't concede that a government should hide its business from the people. If legal notices cost too much and newspapers make too much money, open newspapers and underbid these notices. The government has been said to "subsidize" newspapers through this process, but given all the other subsidies given out, doesn't it make a tiny bit of sense to subsidize the people's right to know what their government is doing through a third party? Do you really trust a self-reporting government? Our founders sought to protect us against that.