Update on Public Notice Bills: 2021 Session, Interim Committee Weeks 4 and 5

Here are the bills we are following and the help we need.

 Senate Bill 402

Filed by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R. Fort Myers), the bill would replace the current system of placing judicial notices (foreclosures, probate, etc.) in newspapers with posting notices for a fee (up to $500 per notification) on a website “established by the Supreme Court.”

The bill was temporarily postponed at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Jan.  25 meeting. Yesterday, it was placed on the Committee’s agenda for its Monday, February 15, 2:30-6:00 p.m. meeting. We will be reaching out to publishers/market leaders to come to Tallahassee to testify virtually.

House Bill 35

This bill by Rep. Randy Fine (R., Palm Bay), is similar to those he filed the last two sessions (both of which passed the House but failed in the Senate), and again allows for publication of advertisements and public notices on “publicly accessible websites and government access channels.”

The bill passed its first of two committee references at the Civil Justice Subcommittee meeting on February 3 with a party line vote of 11 Rs to 6 Ds. If the bill is set for the Judiciary Committee’s next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16, we will be reaching out to publishers to appear. Currently, there is no Senate companion bill.

How You Can Help Oppose SB 402 and HB 35

Affected FPA members, who have not already, should contact their Senators and House members ASAP to raise concerns with these bills. Please try to schedule zoom meetings with the member and/or staff. Due to COVID-19 protocols limiting access to the Capitol, this outreach will be more important than ever. Please continue running op/eds opposing these bills.

Attached are talking points that you can use when you contact your legislator or write stories or op/eds.  FloridaPublicNotices2020_updated

Here is a file cloud link to a spreadsheet with legislative contact information for members, which we will continue to update and add to: http://filecloud.mediagenius.com/url/iptwkq3rkdagjwwq       

For further resources and actions you can take to oppose these bills, see the Public Notice Day page on the FPA website (under resources): https://flpress.com/publicnoticeday.

If you would like more information about any of these items, please Jim Fogler at 321.283.5277 or Sam Morley at 321.283.5353 or email us at jfogler@mediagenius.com or smorley@flpress.com.