Public notices — the legal notices that governmental entities pay to place in newspapers as a means of informing the public — have played an important role in informing citizens about the actions of their government for more than 200 years.

Nearly every year, almost like clockwork, someone in the Colorado Legislature proposes a bill to end the requirement that governmental agencies publish such notices in newspapers. This year, Senate Bill 156 would eliminate the requirement that counties’ financial information be published.

For decades, those bills have been defeated, mostly through the hard work of newspapers and other advocates for public access to information, but there’s no stopping the onslaught, for two reasons. First, a cost is associated with purchasing that advertising. When budgets are tight, governments, usually counties, propose that posting the notices on their own websites will be less expensive and equally effective.


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