Papers Worry About Lost Revenue If Bill Regulating Pay for Legal Notices Passes

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Some Pennsylvania lawmakers say they wonder how a bill regulating what newspapers can charge governmental bodies for legal notices would be enforced if it becomes law.

The bill passed the state House of Representatives by a 127-62 vote and was sent to the Senate. It would link legal ad rates to 75 percent of either the papers’ lowest commercial rate or what papers were charging their customers on July 1, whichever is lower.

The Pennsylvania Newspaper Association estimates the bill would reduce payments to more than 175 daily and weekly papers across the state by a total of about $5 million in the first year. The newspaper association supports the bill.

But detractors say with the secrecy that surrounds advertising rates, the measure would be hard to enforce.

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