Earlier this year, we filed a bill at the State House to remove the sunset provision that would have ended Maine newspapers’ exclusive right to publish public notices online at the end of 2017. Our pre-emptive action was successful. After jumping a few hurdles, the bill is now law!
With the help of Sen. Roland Martin, our sponsor, the bill quickly went through the Senate and the House and landed on the governor’s desk for approval. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed the bill, so it went back to the House and Senate for override votes, where it received overwhelming support. In fact, in the Senate the override was unanimous.
This was a significant victory for member newspapers of the Maine Press Association and for Maine people who will continue to easily access public notices in our newspapers, on our websites and at MaineNotices.com.
Despite the victory, the governor or lawmakers could, in the future, introduce more legislation that would jeopardize Maine newspapers’ stewardship of public notices in print and online. For that reason, and to continue to enhance Maine residents’ access to the actions of government, the MPA continues to be full steam ahead on improving MaineNotices.com with a platform upgrade and move to a web-optimized experience.
Now more than ever, we need every member newspaper to review and enhance your own promotion of MaineNotices.com. We have print and online promotional ads available and we encourage you to also use your powerful social media channels to drive more visitors to the site.
If you need a fresh set of promotional materials, please reach out to Diane Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of behalf of the MPA Legislative Committee of Mark Mogensen, Tony Ronzio, Lisa DeSisto and J.W. Oliver, we extend our appreciation to our attorney Chris Jackson. He expertly guided us through the process and reinforced how thankful we are to have Mitchell, Tardy, Jackson representing us in Augusta. We also extend our thanks to Gary Gagne for his testimony at the State House.
Our victory and the governor’s attempt to thwart our efforts are further described in this AP story: http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/04/14/after-veto-override-lepage-calls-newspapers-a-dying-antiquated-industry/