Governor Baker signed into law H1566, An Act relative to electronic publication of certain legal notices
, a bill I had filed in this session. The new law requires that all legal notices must now appear, not only in a newspaper's print publication, but also on the newspaper's website and on a statewide website that may be maintained as a repository for such notices
As you know, print media subscriptions are at an all-time low, but readership of newspapers is at all-time high because of the availability online. This new law will capitalize on online readership and increase access to information, including public records, documents and hearing notices. It encourages civic engagement and it will revolutionize access to public notices, long left to the back pages of newsprint in small fonts and unattractive layouts.
This increased access will be accomplished at no additional cost to any government entity. The Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association (MNPA)
, on behalf of the state's newspapers, will bear the cost of launching, operating and maintaining this statewide website. In fact, the MNPA just recently launched the new Public Notice Massachusetts website, which can be found at masspublicnotices.org
, and a number of newspapers have already started uploading notices to the site.
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