Last Friday, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced his appointment of State Sen. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) as Senate Chair of the Joint Interim Committee to Study the Issue of Advertising Public Notices.
“First, I’d like to thank Lt. Governor Patrick for the appointment as chair of this joint committee. Last session, I filed SB 392, which would’ve given flexibility to local governments in meeting their requirements for public notices by utilizing low-/no-cost internet postings,” said Burton in a statement. “I look forward to working with the House Chairman, State Rep. J.M. Lozano, and the named members from both chambers on this issue.”
Under Texas law, many governmental entities are required to post notices of their meetings in a local newspaper in order to better inform the public and encourage public participation. While perhaps such requirements were needed at some point, many conservatives argue that the internet would be a lot more efficient and effective means of communicating with citizens.
Many also argue that the requirement for governments to send taxpayer dollars to third parties to print governmental notices amounts to little more than subsidies to media companies.
For conservatives, Burton’s legislation last session would have provided a win-win-win. Governmental entities would be able to publish their notices online which would likely receive greater visibility, halt taxpayer funds from being spent ineffectively, and lighten the load on governmental budgets.