New Mexico House Passes Bill Requiring Free Obits

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(AP) The New Mexico House approved a measure Wednesday to require daily newspapers to publish free obituary notices.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Larry Larranaga, R-Albuquerque, said newspapers would be required, upon request, to publish a short notice of a person’s death. The notices would not exceed one inch in length and the width of a single newspaper column.

Publishing the obituaries will be a “community service,” said Larranaga. He pointed out that some New Mexico newspapers already publish death notices at no charge.

Rep. John Heaton, D-Carlsbad, opposed the measure, saying the Legislature shouldn’t mandate “to any small business or big business that they have to do something for free.”

The House approved the bill 40-15 and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

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