A subcommittee of the House Local Government Committee held a hearing on HB 2237, which would allow cities and counties to use an Internet website as an alternative to a newspaper to publish legal notices. If a website is chosen it must be available to members of the general public for free.
Subcommittee Chair Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, said he would discuss with KASB whether school districts would want to be included in the measure.
The League of Kansas Municipalities, the Kansas Policy Institute, officials from Saline County, the city of Salina, and Rep. J.R. Claeys, R-Salina, testified in favor of the bill.
They said it would save taxpayer money and that most people have access to the Internet.
The Kansas Press Association and several newspaper owners and executives testified against the measure, saying many people, especially in rural communities, rely on local newspapers to get information contained in legal notices, and removing that revenue from papers would result in layoffs and could jeopardize the viability of some papers.
Peck said he would try to craft a compromise to recommend to the full committee.