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House panel OK's bills on newspaper public notices

PHOENIX -- A divided Arizona House committee has given initial approval to a pair of bills that change the way public notices are required to be published.

One bill allows cities and town to post their public notices online instead of paying for publication in local newspapers. The other changes the basic definition of publication to encompass other than printed forms, including the Internet.

The bills were strongly opposed by newspaper industry representatives at the House Technology and Infrastructure Committee hearing Thursday. Small newspaper publishers testified they would be badly hurt by the revenue loss, that they serve as a check on government by publishing the notices and that many people in rural areas don't get the Internet.

Proponents said posting notices online will save public money and ensure notices are available.

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