Local and municipal governments won’t be required to post legal notices in local newspapers under a new law Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Tuesday night.
Instead, governments can publish notices digitally on websites maintained by county governments.
HB 7049 allows local governments to continue to post notices in local papers if they choose but the bill changes the law to make clear that notices can be posted in papers that are distributed for free.
The law also requires any governmental agency located in a county with a population of fewer than 160,000 to first hold a public hearing and determine that its residents have sufficient access to the Internet before publishing legal notices on a publicly accessible website.
When the new law goes into effect Jan. 1, it will negate a compromise proposal signed by DeSantis last year that allowed notices to appear online and in newspapers.
Newspaper publishers across the state, especially for small papers where such notices make up a large portion of revenues, were alarmed by the 2022 legislation.