Lt. Gov.’s task force: “allow local governments to opt out of newspaper notices”

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti’s task force on government consolidation and unfunded mandates voted Wednesday to recommend allowing local governments to opt out of publishing public notices in newspapers.

The nonbinding recommendation would allow governments to post notices on their websites instead. Local governments without websites would still be required to publish them in local papers.

It passed 20-0. The task force’s report is due by the end of the year.

The idea would probably save governments a bunch of money, but some small town papers really depend on that cash.

There are about 7,000 units of local government in the state. Each one is required to print notices of public hearings in the local newspaper. State law requires other notices as well, such as with land development.