Just days before the final session of the year, New Jersey lawmakers will consider a measure that would allow towns to post legal notices online instead of paying newspapers to publish them.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said she will vote against it.
“I mean there’s no research on this,” said Weinberg, D-Bergen. “It’s being done in a precipitous manner at the end of the year when people are otherwise occupied with no backup.”
Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto disagreed, saying it’s not being rushed for a vote.
“When somebody doesn’t like something, they’ll normally say that. When they like something, they think it’s moving too slow,” said Prieto, D-Hudson. “It’s the same process that everything normally gets, and this is a bill that’s been around for years.”
Prieto says the money towns could save — estimated at $80 million annually — by having the option to put their legal notices on their websites amounts to tax relief for residents.
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick also supports the measure.
“I understand this is really a difficult thing for newspapers because a lot of their revenue comes from municipalities and counties and the state,” said Bramnick, R-Union. “But … to spend $80 million for ads in the back of a newspaper that no one reads, that’s a waste of money.”