|The Citrus County Chronicle in Crystal River, like|
most newspapers, also puts public notices online.
Florida is the first state to "significantly dilute the statutory requirement that notices must be published in print newspapers, but there’s a lot for the newspaper industry and residents of the state to like about the bill," PNRC reports. An alternative "would have moved public notice in the state from newspapers to government websites." The compromise bill passed the Senate bill Thursday and Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign it. The Florida Press Association supports it.
The bill also allows publication of public notices in free-circulation newspapers, with "rigorous standards," PNRC reports. To qualify, they "must have a combined print and online audience equaling at least 10 percent of the households in the county or municipality publishing the notice. In addition, at least 25% of the audited print editions must be delivered to homes or offices and the newspaper must also must be available for pickup in at least 10 public outlets in the region. Newspapers must also be published for at least two years before they can qualify to publish notices.
"The bill gives a leg up to small papers by exempting newspapers in 'fiscally-constrained counties' from having to meet the audience requirements as long as they maintain a periodical permit issued by the U.S. Postal Service. But even newspapers outside of those 30, mostly rural, counties, will have more than two years before their periodical permit will no longer qualify them to publish notices and they will be required to meet the 10 percent audience standard instead."