A Message From Governor Chris Christie On Posting Legal Notices Online

Photo by Paul Scharff

Photo by Paul Scharff

By Governor Chris Christie

“On Thursday, the Legislature advanced a commonsense piece of legislation that was first proposed in 2004 and will reform the archaic practice of requiring taxpayers and private businesses to pay for costly legal notices in print newspapers. The legislation provides the option of posting notices online and citizens will be allowed to take advantage of modern technologies that are already in use by the vast majority of the people in our State.

“It also saves money.

“The current unfunded mandate that is being addressed by this legislation costs New Jersey taxpayers and private citizens more than $80 million per year. That is $80 million annually from property taxpayers, including those facing the nightmare of foreclosure.

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Posted: December 18th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Opinion: End Corporate Welfare For Newspapers

By Art Gallagher


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New Jersey’s “legacy media” is so desperate to remain dependent on government subsidies in the form of mandated legal advertisements that their trade association, the New Jersey Press Association, offered to cut the advertising rates for taxpayer funded ads in half so long as they could increase the fees for legal ads paid for by private parties.

The newspaper industry was caught off guard earlier this week when legislation to allow New Jersey’s governments to publish meeting dates, proposed ordinances, zoning applications, sheriff sales, etc., online rather than in daily or weekly newspapers was introduced and fast tracked for approval before the end of the year.  Since then they papers been editorializing to rally their readers to put pressure on the legislature to scrap the bill and save their revenue.  Their arguments have been unseemly; Governor Chris Christie is pushing the bill as revenge on newspapers for their coverage of the Bridgegate scandal, that the elimination of legal ads would lead to less transparency and chicanery on the part of government officials who might not publish the ads as the law requires and that municipal and county governments publishing their own legal notices on the web won’t lead to savings.

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Posted: December 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Legislature, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

APP: Public contracts should be online. Why not public notices?

This morning The Asbury Park Press argues in an editorial that public labor contracts should be posted online.  They argued that municipalites that don’t have websites that can handle such postings should post them on the Department of Community Affairs’ site.

We agree.   While we’re at it, why not public notices that municipalities, school boards and private sector zoning and planning applicants now pay millions per year to advertise in newspapers where very few people see them?

During the last legislative session a bi-partisan bill that would have given jurisdictions the option of advertising legal notices  in newspapers or online was passed in committee and scheduled for a vote in both houses of the legislature on the last day of the session.  It met fierce resistance from the newspaper industry in committee and before that scheduled vote.

The corporate welfare recipients of the newspaper industry argued that politicians would use the choice to punish newspapers who didn’t give them favorable coverage, and that the savings wasn’t that much, if anything.  In their final push to kill the bill, which worked, they argued that some towns don’t have websites that could handle the ads.

The legislature’s Democratic leadership, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver, killed the bill by not letting their chambers vote on it.

Well, thanks to the good nudniks of Neptune, The Asbury Presseditorial board, we now have a solution to the problem of a small number of towns not having websites that can handle posting legal notices.  Notice publication could be a shared service hosting by the Department of Community Affairs or by the counties.

Sweeney has already announced that the legal notice bill will not be a priority in the legislative session that just started, signaling to the reformers that support they bill that they shouldn’t bother.  Now that The Asbury Park Press has come up with a solution to the newspaper industry’s latest objection, maybe Sweeney will reconsider.

Posted: January 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Media, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on APP: Public contracts should be online. Why not public notices?

No Vote In Assembly On Legal Ads Bill

S2072/A2082 will not be voted on in the Assembly today according to a report by State Street Wire, Politickernj’s pay site.

As today is the last day of the legislative session, Speaker Sheila Oliver and other Democratic caucus members have killed the bill.

Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-29, Newark), a former sponsor of the bill told State Street Wire that he would introduce a similar bill in the new session that also addresses concerns of those who opposed this bill.

Posted: January 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Legislature, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Call Your Legislators: Stop Corporate Welfare For Newspapers

Legislation that ends the requirement of “Legal Ads” being published in newspapers, in favor of the ads being posted on government websites, is on the calendar in both the Senate and Assembly on Monday, the last day of the current legislative session.

Call or email your legislators right now and ask them to vote YES on S-2072 in the Senate and A-2082 in the Assembly.  You can find your legislators contact information here.

Classified ads in newspapers have gone the way of the horse and buggy.  The Internet has made them obsolete.  On most days Legals Ads make up the vast majority of the once thick classified section.  The private sector has already voted.  Taxpayers and those with proceedings before a court or board should not have to subsidize an antiquated practice.

Posting Legal Notices on municipal, county and state websites will lead to more people seeing them and will save the public between $12 and $70 million per year, depending upon who you believe.  The newspaper industry says they ads cost only $12 million per year.  Proponents of the bill says they cost $70 million.

Posted: January 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Legislature, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments »