Legislative Update on Public Notice Modernization
In an effort to modernize legally required public notices for the modern internet age, Senate Bill 733 proposes to give municipalities, municipal authorities, and school districts the option to publish legal notices on a website instead of in a newspaper of general circulation. The bill, previously introduced as Senate Bill 804 of the 2011-12 Legislative Session, would amend Title 45 (Legal Notices) of the Pennsylvania consolidated statutes. All legal notices would be included, such as budgets, public meetings, bid requests and openings, and ordinance adoption.
SB 733 would require interested entities to adopt a resolution or enact an ordinance opting to electronically publish legal notices. Such enabling resolution or ordinance must state which notices may be electronically published and provide the official website where such notices will be posted. The local government must additionally set up a global emailing list, and DCED must maintain a list of all entities using electronic advertising with related links on its website to each entities’ public notice page.
The bill provides two main advantages to local government entities and their residents: (i) it greatly reduces the high costs of advertisement by providing a quick, easy and affordable method to publish notices, and (ii) provides a uniform forum to easily access notices in an age with fewer daily newspapers. SB 733 passed the Senate Local Government committee (11-0) in October and is currently in the Senate Appropriations committee.
Check back for updates on SB 733 and for other legislative updates concerning municipal law. Questions or comments on this article or general municipal law can be directed to Christian Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 845-1524 ext. 121.