Option to shift legal notices to gov’t websites advances

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The latest attempt to let all North Carolina local governments post required legal notices on their websites instead of in newspapers is advancing at the General Assembly.

A Senate measure to allow cities and counties to post items online such as zoning and annexation proposals and openings for vendor contracts cleared two committees this week.

For generations, newspapers have been the source to read these announcements, with cities and counties spending millions of dollars annually. Previous bills to shift more of these notices online have stalled.

Sen. Trudy Wade of Greensboro sponsors the latest legislation. She says giving local governments the option will make people more informed. But John Bussian with the North Carolina Press Association told a committee Thursday the measure would effectively eliminate the public’s right to know.