Since the nation’s earliest days, newspaper have played a key role in publishing public notices, whether they be meeting notices, lists of delinquent taxpayers or notices of proposed referenda.
True, the digital age has allowed material to be shared much more easily, but HB6098 in the Illinois House would have ended the longstanding practice of putting these notices in a paper of record.
According to this report in the Rock River Times, the bill won’t make it through the General Assembly’s spring session.
Which is a good thing.
In a state which has transparency issues and the most units of government of any state in the U.S., taking away an important window into the basic functions of taxpayer-funded government seems reckless.
Said the Illinois Press Association:
“Local governments know that newspapers get the message out best. When they want to publicize issues of concern, they don’t post it on their website – they go to the media.”