Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Liveblog: Blogger Presser @ the Capitol

I'm live at the blogger deal at the Capitol. To view online, click here.

1608: After everyone introduced ourselves, Senator Urqhart introduced SB 208 that will allow legal notices on state web site.

1616: There would be a nominal fee to publish the legal notice. The actual cost of the fee is unknown at this time.

1617: The requirement of an online notice would be anywhere a legal notice is required in the current law.

1618: Currently, hundreds of thousands of dollars (possibly low 7 figures) is spent on legal notices.

1619: No feedback yet from newspaper publishers.

1620: archives.utah.gov is likely where the legal notices will be published.

1621: database of notices will be searchable (location, type, etc)

1628: ethan at slcspin asked if this was an anti-media bill. the answer (from the senator) is that it's a pro-consumer bill. not governments job to prop up a industry.

1632: implementation will be in 2010 so that any tweaks that come from the technology can be rectified in annother session.

1634: JMBell texted in to ask Ethan why, since he's no longer a real blogger, he's hogging all the questions. (Ethan asked 3, everyone else asked one. While I liked JM's point, Ethan didn't exactly hog out time.)

1637: Sen Neiderhauser speaking on transparency moves by the state government.


Foiguy said...

The truth is that newspapers get it. If Sen. Urquhart had made a simple phone call or asked questions of legislators who are familiar with the idea would have shown that the Utah Press Association agrees on the the need to expand the reach and accessibility of use of public notice.

However, we believe that public notice should be both in newspapers and on the Web. For the past two years, with the agreement of former Senate President John Valentine and Sen. Dennis Stowell, R-Parowan, Utah's newspapers have developed a new centralized Web site that is now in beta testing.

Also, for several years we have maintained and continue to maintain, utahlegalnotices.com. Both of these Web sites have been searchable by key words. The new Web site will be RSS feed capable and a fully searchable database of statewide public notices. One will also be able to subscribe to e-mail feeds on a particular key word.

We believe that we have developed one of the most sophisticated legal notice Web sites in the United States. The Utah Press Association has also pledged to create an advertising campaign that would help citizens better understand and access public notices.

As has been the case for centuries, public notice is best served by a third-party, independent source. There should be a be check and balance on government power. In other words, should the fox be watching the henhouse when it comes to legal notices? Also, should the government be in the business of creating its own communications bureaucracy?

Also, there are real costs associated with creating and maintaining a public notice Web site. Currently, along with the initial startup costs, the Utah Public Meeting Notice Web site has at least one full-time staff and ongoing costs through the Utah Department of Archives.
Joel Campbell
Utah Press Association
Legislative Monitor

Bob said...

Thanks for the comment. I have moved it to the main blog to promote it more.

Ethan said...

Bob, I never ask just one question. And I never ask an even number of questions. So three was pretty much the minimum.

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