Dan Rossmiller (pictured), WASB Government Relations Director, asked the Legislative Council Study Committee on Publication of Government Documents and Legal Notices that any legislation recommended by this committee ultimately include provisions allowing school districts the option to post certain notices and/or documents on their websites as opposed to paying to publish them in a newspaper if they so choose. Other local government groups invited to testify at the meeting were on the same page in asking for flexibility in this area.
Rossmiller noted that while school board members are interested in improving operational efficiency and reducing costs, which the option to provide notices and other information via the school district website would permit, boards most want to be able to choose the method that best meets local circumstances in terms of both cost to taxpayers and effectiveness in reaching the desired audience. See full WASB Testimony here.
The Study Committee, chaired by state Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield), held its first meeting on Tuesday, July 26. The committee is comprised of legislators, local government officials, and newspaper publishers (see membership). The committee members heard presentations from the WASB, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and the Wisconsin Towns Association.
The Study Committee is directed to update and recodify chapters 35 and 985, Stats., relating to the publication and distribution of government documents and legal notices, to reflect technological advances and remove obsolete provisions. The committee shall also study whether, and in what circumstances, current law regarding the publication and distribution of government documents and legal notices, including qualifications for official newspapers, should be modified to allow for information to be made available only electronically or through nontraditional media outlets, and the committee shall recommend legislation regarding any such modifications.
You can watch the entire first meeting on Wisconsin Eye.