The state House voted this week to ease the requirements on cities and counties to buy space in newspapers for public notices. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.
Existing law requires local governments to publish notices of various events such as rezoning hearings, upcoming elections and requests for bids. The proposal, crafted by Representative Warren Petersen, would have eliminated that for cities of more than 100,000 in exchange for web publication. But when that was beaten back last week, Petersen offered a deal to house colleagues: Approve the measure now and he'll alter it when it goes to the Senate. The new promised version would keep a publication requirement - but just half as much as now mandated. Petersen said, "if it's a daily notice, it has to be published 4 times, 4 days in a row for a city or county. If it's a weekly notice, it has to be published 2 weeks. So instead of doing 4 days or instead of doing 2 weeks, it'll be 2 days or 1 week."
Petersen also promised to scrap the language about the size of the cities that would be affected. That would mean all cities, no matter how large or small, could cut back on the publication requirements and, by extension, the cost of buying the space. A Senate hearing on an altered version is likely to occur within weeks.