Michigan newspapers may lose monopoly on legal notices
The Michigan House of Representatives passed, on a 62-47 vote, a bill that would allow municipalities to post their legal notices online rather than through print newspapers. The bill now goes to the state senate.
HB 5560 (PDF) allows local governments to have their legal notices hosted online, rather than only in print newspapers. Local newspapers could, of course, still big on the notices, but now other media outlets such as broadcast could bid to win the notices.
For many small newspapers, legal notices have been a significant sources of revenue, pretty much locked in for years. Newspapers often found themselves the only ones bidding on the business, though there have occasionally been fights between newspapers and minor area publications when those other publications have won a new bid.
The new legislation gets phased in over a 10 year period.