Inside208

House Committee Passes Online Notice Legislation

Posted on November 13, 2014 by Dene Westbrook

This morning, the House Local Government Committee reported House Bill 5560, legislation that would phase out the newspaper publication requirement for public notices and transition the notices to the Internet.

HB 5560 creates a tiered system for legal notices and phases them out over time. The legislation is vague, but the least “serious” notices would be considered Tier A. Tier C would include those notices that deal with property and finances.

Under the bill, beginning January 1, 2025, a local government would be required to change how it provides public notice. A Tier A public notice would be posted on the ‘active notice portion’ of a website for 30 days.  A Tier A public notice with a link would be posted on the ‘active notice portion’ of a website for 30 days with a link to the full document.  A Tier B public notice would be posted on the ‘active notice portion’ of a website for 14 days.  A Tier B public notice with a link would be posted on the ‘active notice portion’ of a website for 14 days with a link to the full document. A Tier C public notice would be posted on the ‘active notice portion’ of the website for 14 days.

The legislation allows local electors to hold a referendum to require continued publication in a newspaper. It allows local units to enter into contracts with media outlets for publication on their websites. The bill also requires archiving of public notices for five years.

The bill now goes to the House for its approval.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at sharkins@mml.org

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