By July 24, 2019 Read More →

W.Va. legislators weigh costs, benefits of publishing legal ads in local newspapers

By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Legislators Monday debated the costs and benefits of a perennial issue at the Capitol: to reduce or eliminate requirements that state, county and municipal governments publish legal notices in local newspapers.

Discussions Monday in the interim Joint Standing Committee on Finance balanced issues of cost burdens on cities and counties with the importance of legal ads to provide government transparency and keep West Virginians informed.

Several legislators raised concerns that proposals to move legal ads — which cover a wide gamut of government functions, from budgets, hearing notices, court orders, sample ballots, zoning and land-use changes, trustee sales, foreclosures, to delinquent tax lists — entirely to web-based systems would penalize senior citizens and others without internet access, as well as those who prefer to read printed newspapers.

“Certainly, we’re looking to control wasteful spending, but this is not that. These are important costs to inform our citizens,” said Delegate Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan.

“I’m just very concerned about reaching people online,” said Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone. “I’m just afraid we’re going to disenfranchise some of the people used to print media.” …

Read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/business/legislators-weigh-costs-benefits-of-publishing-legal-ads/article_f165249a-903b-5855-9ae3-efd8e3530cc5.html


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