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Senate shuts down bill to kill the newspaper notice

A bill that would remove the requirement that local governments publish their official notices in printed newspapers was halted by the Senate Community Affairs Committee Tuesday, when chairman, Sen. Mike Bennett, said he was ordering a staff study over the summer instead.

The measure, SB 2292, being pushed by Sen. Ronda Storms, would have allowed local governments to replace the printed notice with an internet notice and a direct mailer to citizens who signed up to receive them. Storms said she had no idea how much the shift in practice would cost but noted that cities and counties "loved it.''

By contrast, killing the bill was the top priority of the Florida Press Assocation, and was opposed by AARP and Associated Industries of Florida.

Storms predicted that the death of printed newspapers in Florida was inevitable. "Members of the media may not want to acknowledge it but, in our lifetime, it's going to take care of itself,'' she said. "All we're doing is propping up the media. I think that print media is going to go away."

Bennett replied: "I look at the whole idea of a nonprinted media as terrifying. I realize the federal government can shut down a satellite and we lose all our unprinted media. Maybe you have more faith in government than I do."