Bill threatening sanitation district public notices is defeated

The author of a measure that would repeal the requirement that bid notices for sanitation districts be published in a newspaper of general circulation pulled the bill before it could be considered by the Assembly Local Government Committee, effectively killing it for the year.

The bill, AB 2003 by Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Huntington Beach)is sponsored by the Orange County Sanitation District. It would have repealed existing newspaper publication requirements for competitive bidding for the purchase of goods, equipment, material and services for a sanitation district and instead give the districts discretion to choose in which media to place the notice from among radio, TV, the internet and newspapers, even the agency’s own website.

Telephone calls and letters from CNPA publishers to the members of the Local Government Committee made all the difference in killing this public notice threat. Legislators and their staffs heard from many of the publishers in their districts. As a result, they became well aware of the threat the bill posed to newspapers and the public’s right to know.

CNPA wants to thank publishers for taking the time to contact legislators on the committee to let them know how the bill would have affected their newspaper and community. Publisher involvement was the most effective tool used to defeat this threat and demonstrates that newspapers continue to have a viable presence in the legislative process.