Rep Stevenson and Renner: Get the State out of the newspaper business

Randy Fine (R) 53 is trying to break the monopoly newspapers have on the lucrative legal notice market.  This is a pet peeve of Historic City News who is not allowed to compete with print newspapers because of an antiquated Florida law.

HB 1235, sponsored by Florida Representative Randy Fine, would end the decades-old requirement that legal notices must be disseminated in print newspapers. Instead, those notices could be posted online or delivered via U.S. mail.

“I have spoken to our state legislative delegation about the need to get our government out of the newspaper business already.  Finally, Representative Fine has started the ball rolling, and I expect both Representative Stevenson and Renner to support HB 1235,” said Historic City News editor Michael Gold.  “Representative Stevenson and I have specifically discussed the injustice of the current law which forces legal advertisers to buy legal notices from newspapers that poison the earth with ink contaminants and contribute to burgeoning landfills.”

Editor Michael Gold

Fine’s bill, that would halt protection of the state’s newspapers from the lucrative legal notices market, cleared another committee stop this week.  The bill now heads to the State Affairs Committee, its final stop before the House floor.

On their own, online notices seem like a no-brainer. But striking out the newspaper ad portion of state law hasn’t been without its detractors.

Self-serving as it is, the print industry has been vocal in its opposition, saying newspapers still draw in more readers than any government website and ditching the ad requirement is an affront to government in the sunshine.

Justice delayed is justice denied.  William Ewart Gladstone