Public notice task force

Indiana House Enrolled Act 1438 was recently signed into law, establishing a “local government public notice task force” to study:

  • Streamlining notice publication processes and identifying efficiencies without endangering due process.
  • The viability of use of print and digital media for providing notice.
  • Increasing awareness of and accessibility to public notice for all citizens.
  • The viability of using digital platforms to host public notices.
  • Evaluating cost savings to political subdivisions by having political subdivisions:
    • publish notices on their web page; and
    • maintain notice publication data as required by statute.
  • Reviewing publication of notice statutes and making any recommendations to modernize the publication of notice requirements.

The trajectory here seems to be moving away from requiring local government units to publish public notices in local newspapers, or substantially shifting the way the requirement is tracked and enforced.

I have mixed feelings about these developments.

When I see the amount of work that goes into getting printed legal ads requested, designed, published, billed and recorded, the technologist in me longs for more efficiency that a shift to digital would surely facilitate.

But when I see how many of our readers are clearly not online much or at all, and are not going to even have the chance to read a public notice on a website, I can be convinced that this stuff should be available in print for a long time to come.

Chris Hardie is a journalist, newspaper publisher, software developer and entrepreneur based in Indiana, USA. Read more from Chris on this site, learn more on his personal website, subscribe for updates or follow Chris on Mastodon.

One response

  1. Lora Redweik Avatar
    Lora Redweik

    All government should be more transparent and not subject citizens to make special accomodations. Not everyone has a computer and or accessiable internet nor a vehicle to go to a designated government building (everyday) to read public notices.
    When it comes to public notices due to government activities, the tax payers are already paying for these advertisments. There is no discussion on how this money will be used if there is no need for the publication of public notices in newspapers.
    As written in the now signed bill, there are to be public meetings for the Public Notice Task Force but no meetings have been posted. Time is running out for the findings of this task force.
    The lack of notices for the Public Notice Task Force meetings is just the precursor of what will happen if these public notices are eliminated from printing in the newpapers.

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