Public Notice Bill Passes Legislature
Florida Press Association
336 E. College Ave., Suite 203
Tallahassee, FL 32301
For immediate release Contact: Dean Ridings
March 5, 2012 850.521.1162
Sweeping public notice legislation passes House and Senate
HB 937/SB 292 headed to the Governor
Tallahassee – In the closing hours of the 2012 legislative session, the Senate passed HB 937, which may be the most sweeping legislation affecting public notices since the 1940s.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ritch Workman (R), Melbourne, makes public notices even more effective – and insures that Floridians who want to stay informed will have easy access to public notices in print and online. When Floridians have looked for information they have turned to their printed newspapers for more than a hundred years. Now, continuing in that tradition, the websites of Florida’s newspapers are the most visited local websites in each community and often are only exceeded by Google and Yahoo in popularity. When Floridians want information, they turn to their local newspaper – whether in print or online. This law insures that Floridians will be able to continue to access the notices in print, if that is what they prefer. Additionally, users who read their newspapers online will be able to find their notices on their local newspaper’s website and aggregated at www.floridapublicnotices.com. Public notices can also be easily searched and read on the iPhone by downloading the Florida Public Notices app.
The new law has the following impact:
– Newspapers will provide notices in print AND online, and the notices will be available to the public without charge online
– Notices will be uploaded to www.floridapublicnotices.com where they can be searched by county, notice type or virtually any other criteria – also without
charge to the public
– The public can request to be notified by email without charge when a new notice is published
– The affidavit process has been updated and now allows for digital proof of publication, facilitating the process for clerks and other advertisers
– Notices paid by government (such as a zoning notice) will receive a 15% discount on the second and subsequent insertion.
The law continues to require print publication, and the printed copy along with the affidavit insures that the notice was published according to law. Even if the publishing website is hacked, the fixity of print confirms the due process of law. As the law continues to require that public notice rates are charged at the lowest commercial rate, advertisers are assured of the effectiveness of newspaper advertising.
For more information, please contact Dean Ridings, President, Florida Press Association