We at Americans for Prosperity are concerned that HB 335 allows local governments to post public notices only on the Internet. Our concerns are that some citizens are not on the Internet or would not likely see those public notices.
Though the proponents will claim this saves local governments money, we have concern that it will cost taxpayers more if they don’t see the notice and take action.
While this legislation is well-intentioned, we are particularly concerned about the minority communities and the elderly. While 67% of the Texas population is reported to be on the Internet, that percentage is lower than California or New York but is also a lower percentage than Tennessee and Utah. It is also likely disproportionately lower among the elderly and minorities.
We have joined a large diverse coalition of organizations opposing HB 335.
We should require notices being posted on the Internet but not exclusively. Internet posting should not satisfy any public notice requirements in lieu of publication in the newspaper. The day will most assuredly come when posting notices on the Internet could serve public notice requirements but rather than restrict public notice requirements, we should require both print newspaper notices and Internet notices.