MACo Advocates for Modernizing Legal Notice Requirements

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp testified in support of HB 663, Constitution – Local Government – Legal Notices, to the House Environment and Transportation Committee on February 23, 2016. The bill would provide charter counties with a needed alternative to publishing summaries of proposed laws and ordinances in a newspaper of general circulation.

From the MACo testimony:

HB 663 is a constitutional amendment that allows a charter county to publish a summary of its proposed laws and ordinances in a manner specified by the General Assembly. Currently, the Maryland Constitution requires the summary to be published for two weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the county.

As with other types of legal notices, there is a cost for charter counties to publish its summary in a newspaper as opposed to an online or similar method. To the extent the General Assembly authorized online publication, charter counties would have a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative than newspaper publication.

An identical cross-filed bill, SB 580, will be heard on March 1 in the Senate.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.