Public Notices now required to have payment disclosure thanks to the General Assembly

Not surprisingly, the 2020 session included legislation on Public Notices and whether those should be published in newspapers or allowed to be published solely on government websites. Unlike most legislation that will take effect this coming week — “90 days after the legislative session adjourns” — this portion of House Bill 351 explained took effect July 1.

When the final gavel banged that had involved a Governor’s Veto of House Bill 351, language remained in the state revenue bill. Tucked away on page 240 of a 244-page bill, in Section 73, was language that allowed government agencies in counties of 90,000 population or more to publish notices on local government agencies website. The population requirement also states that the population is based solely on the 2010 U.S. Census, not the population that may be published when the 2020 census figures are made public.

House Bill 351 included one more jab at newspapers, making one paragraph applicable to all public notices regardless of county population size.

Section 73 contained this language that took effect July 1:

Any advertisement required to be published in a newspaper under KRS Chapter 424 shall contain the following statement at the end of the advertisement: “This advertisement was paid for by [insert the name of the governmental body required to advertise in a newspaper] using taxpayer dollars in the amount of $[insert the amount paid for the advertisement].”.

Here’s the entire Section 73 stipulating that counties of 90,000 or more can publish public notices on the local government website and the above public notice payment disclaimer:

Section 73. Publishing Requirements:

Notwithstanding KRS 83A.060, 91A.040, and Chapter 424, a county containing a population of more than 90,000 or any city within a county containing a population of more than 90,000, as determined by the 2010 United States Census, may publish enacted ordinances, audits, and bid solicitations by posting the full ordinance, the full audit report including the auditor’s opinion letter, or the bid solicitation on an Internet Web site maintained by the county or city government for a period of at least one (1) year. If a county or city publishes ordinances, audits, or bid solicitations on an Internet Web site, the county or city shall also publish an advertisement, in a newspaper qualified in accordance with KRS 424.120, with a description of the ordinances, audits, or bid solicitations published on the Internet Web site, including the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) where the documents can be viewed.

Any advertisement required to be published in a newspaper under KRS Chapter 424 shall contain the following statement at the end of the advertisement: “This advertisement was paid for by [insert the name of the governmental body required to advertise in a newspaper] using taxpayer dollars in the amount of $[insert the amount paid for the advertisement].”.

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