Pennsylvania To Study Whether Notices Should Still Be Placed In Print Newspapers

Pennsylvania is the latest state that could stop jurisdictions from paying newspapers for publishing their legal notices. 

The State Senate whip, Sen. Ryan Aument (R), is calling for a study to assess the cost of paid public notices. This would include all locales statewide.

That study, he wrote, “will go a long way to helping the Legislature decide if continued advertising in print newspapers is still the best method to ensure this important information reaches the public.”

Ending that plan would deprive struggling newspapers of badly needed revenue and remove a layer of transparency in government. 

Right now, the state’s Sunshine Act requires public entities to publish notices of meetings, contract proposals and other official business in zoning hearings with “newspapers of general circulation,” Lancaster Online reports. 

That would accord with the wishes of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors. 



Another possible option would be to do what Virginia has done.   

There, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (D) has signed bills stating that when ordnances and notices are required by law to be published in a newspaper, they “instead may be published in an online-only news publication,” which would preserve that revenue stream for publishers moving toward digital. 

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