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COLUMBIA CITY â€” A long tradition of newspapers providing government information to the public was backed this session by Indianaâ€™s Statehouse â€” for now.
Senate Bill 458 would have eliminated the need for government bodies publish their public notices in newspapers and would have replaced it with a post onto a website.
The Hoosier State Press Association (HSPA) testified against the bill, which eventually died when a vote was not called up.
HSPA Executive Director and General Counsel Steve Key said the bill indicates a growing trend.
â€śIt shows there is this growing feeling among some legislators that public notices would be better served for the internet â€” either because it is a better forum or in an effort to save money,â€ť he said.
There are three laws among others that are currently on the books supporting the publicâ€™s right to know: the Public Notice Advertising Law, the Open Door Law and the Access to Public Records Act. Each of those is part of the support of the publicâ€™s right to know, which has been challenged more than once in the Statehouse.
For now though, legal notices and reports from government bodies, such as the Whitley County Consolidated Schools Annual Performance Report on page A10 in todayâ€™s Post & Mail, will remain published in newspapers.
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