State Legislation Could Change Legal Notices


Dome of the Texas State Capitol building in downtown Austin, Texas | Image by CrackerClips Stock Media, Shutterstock

The Texas House of Representatives currently has legislation pending that would reform the law governing local legal notice requirements.

Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) introduced House Bill 622 to provide greater circulation of required legal notices, so local governments would have more options to publish these notices, per The Texan. The current legislation created a monopoly for newspapers that met specific requirements.

Newspapers are now a hurdle to transparency as they cannot adequately comply with the requirement for public notices since many are no longer delivered locally,” said Shaheen to The Texan. “As technology improves, the way newspapers do business has changed, yet crony newspaper publishers continue to fight this legislation, even if it means less transparency for everyday Texans.”

Mayor Jim Jarratt of Granbury said he is in support of any legislation that provides better service at a lower cost, which this legislation could provide.

I’m always looking for ways to reduce cost and improve service, that is one of the key responsibilities of any government entity. And I think this bill is doing just that,” Jarratt said to The Texan. “I think people deserve to have the opportunity for flexibility and more options. This is a bill I believe we need to look at and carefully consider for both cost and transparency reasons.”

Mayor Javier Joven of Odessa said this legislation would help increase circulation and provide funding to outlets, as tax revenue is currently being used to pay for space in newspapers.

Obviously we want to get more circulation and more eyes seeing our legal notices and most importantly, this would be a huge saving for our taxpayers,” said Joven to The Texan. “I have been watching, following, and certainly supporting this type of legislation, especially as we see local print media subscriptions drop tremendously as of late and it keeps people from being better informed.”

House Bill 622 is not the only legislation regarding newspapers and local government legal notices. Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) introduced Senate Bill 943 to require newspapers to post the notice on their websites at no additional cost. Similarly, House Bill 2863, introduced by Rep. Terri Leo-Wilson (R-Galveston), would allow local governments to only post the notices to a newspaper’s website rather than being required in a print edition as well.

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9 days ago

still no justice , our children under attack many have died, our votes do not count just fake ballots that democrats and rinos add to steal elections. give me liberty or give me death