HOUSE BILL No. 5560

May 8, 2014, Introduced by Reps. Price, VerHeulen, Schor and Rutledge and referred to the Committee on Local Government.

 

     A bill to set forth the methods for local governments and

 

other governmental entities to provide public notices; to prescribe

 

the powers and duties of certain public entities; and to prescribe

 

the duties of certain private entities.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "local

 

government public notice act".

 

     Sec. 2. As used in this act:

 

     (a) "Internet" means that term as defined in 47 USC 230.

 

     (b) "Local media outlet" means a television station or radio

 

broadcast station, licensed by the federal communications

 

commission.

 

     (c) "Required area" means the county, city, township, village,

 

district, or other geographic territory where the notice is


 

required to be published or posted.

 

     (d) "Website" means a collection of pages of the internet,

 

usually in HTML format, with clickable or hypertext links to enable

 

navigation from 1 page or section to another, that often uses

 

associated graphics files to provide illustration and may contain

 

other clickable or hypertext links.

 

     Sec. 3. Except as otherwise provided in sections 4 and 5, as

 

used in this act, "newspaper" means a print publication that is

 

published for the dissemination of local news of a general

 

character or for the dissemination of legal news and to which all

 

of the following apply:

 

     (a) The print publication is published and distributed in not

 

less than weekly intervals.

 

     (b) Not less than 50% of the words in the print publication

 

are in the English language.

 

     (c) The print publication has a bona fide list of subscribers

 

in 1 or more counties in this state or is available to the public

 

at newsstands or other retail locations in 1 or more counties in

 

this state, or both.

 

     (d) The print publication accepts and publishes official and

 

other notices.

 

     (e) The print publication regularly contains information of a

 

public character or of interest or value to residents, property

 

owners, or the general public.

 

     (f) The print publication has been published or distributed

 

for not less than 1 year.

 

     Sec. 4. If there is no publication that meets the definition


 

in section 3 published and of general circulation in the required

 

area, "newspaper" means a website on the internet that meets all of

 

the following requirements:

 

     (a) The website is identified as a continuing online version

 

of a publication that previously met the definition in section 3

 

and was published and of general circulation in the required area.

 

     (b) The website is published in the English language for the

 

dissemination of local news of a general character or for the

 

dissemination of legal news for the required area.

 

     (c) The website has been established and operating without

 

interruption for at least 2 years.

 

     (d) News content on the website is published and posted and

 

was updated at least every 7 days for the preceding 2 years.

 

     (e) The website lists all of the following:

 

     (i) Contact information, including a list of staff located in

 

the required area.

 

     (ii) An address and telephone number in the required area.

 

     (iii) An address in the required area where the public notices

 

may be sent for posting.

 

     (iv) An address in the required area where complaints can be

 

made.

 

     (v) An address in the required area where printed copies of

 

notices may be viewed by the public.

 

     (f) The website includes a clearly designated area for public

 

notices that is accessible via a prominently displayed and clearly

 

labeled link from the homepage of the website and the posted

 

notices are maintained permanently in a searchable database


 

accessible on the website.

 

     (g) A majority of visitors to the website are residents of the

 

required area.

 

     Sec. 5. If there is no publication or website that meets the

 

definition in section 3 or 4 in the required area, "newspaper"

 

means a publication or website in an adjoining county, city,

 

township, village, district, or other geographic territory, as

 

applicable, that meets the definition in section 3 or 4.

 

     Sec. 6. (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 10, and

 

subject to section 11, beginning January 1, 2015 and until December

 

31, 2019, a local government or other governmental entity required

 

to provide public notice under this act shall provide that public

 

notice as follows:

 

     (a) For tier A public notice, the notice shall be published

 

twice in a newspaper in the required area and may be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 30

 

days.

 

     (b) For tier A public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

published twice in a newspaper in the required area with a summary

 

of the document involved as well as a statement indicating a

 

location where copies of the full document involved are available

 

for public inspection. In addition, the notice may be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 30

 

days with a link to the full document involved.

 

     (c) For tier B public notice, the notice shall be published

 

once in a newspaper in the required area and may be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 14


 

days.

 

     (d) For tier B public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

published once in a newspaper in the required area with a summary

 

of the document involved as well as a statement indicating a

 

location where copies of the full document involved are available

 

for public inspection. In addition, the notice may be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 14

 

days with a link to the full document involved.

 

     (e) Except as otherwise provided in section 9, for tier C

 

public notice, the notice shall be posted on the active notice

 

portion of the website of the required area for 14 days. If the

 

local government or other governmental entity does not have a

 

website, the notice shall be published once in a newspaper in the

 

required area.

 

     (2) In addition to the notice requirements under subsection

 

(1), a printed copy of the notice required under subsection (1)

 

shall be made available for public inspection by the local

 

government or other governmental entity for the duration of time

 

that the notice is required under subsection (1).

 

     Sec. 7. (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 9 or 10,

 

and subject to section 11, beginning January 1, 2020 and until

 

December 31, 2024, a local government or other governmental entity

 

required to provide public notice under this act shall provide that

 

public notice as follows:

 

     (a) For tier A public notice, the notice shall be published

 

once in a newspaper in the required area and shall be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 30


 

days. If the local government or other governmental entity does not

 

have a website, the notice shall be published twice in a newspaper

 

in the required area.

 

     (b) For tier A public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

published once in a newspaper in the required area with a summary

 

of the document involved as well as a statement indicating a

 

location where copies of the full document involved are available

 

for public inspection and shall be posted on the active notice

 

portion of the website of the required area for 30 days with a link

 

to the full document involved. If the local government or other

 

governmental entity does not have a website, the notice shall be

 

published twice in a newspaper in the required area with a summary

 

of the document involved as well as a statement indicating a

 

location where copies of the full document involved are available

 

for public inspection.

 

     (c) For tier B public notice, the notice shall be posted on

 

the active notice portion of the website of the required area for

 

14 days. If the local government or other governmental entity does

 

not have a website, the notice shall be published once in a

 

newspaper in the required area.

 

     (d) For tier B public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

posted on the active notice portion of the website of the required

 

area for 14 days with a link to the full document involved. If the

 

local government or other governmental entity does not have a

 

website, the notice shall be published once in a newspaper in the

 

required area with a summary of the document involved as well as a

 

statement indicating a location where copies of the full document


 

involved are available for public inspection.

 

     (e) For tier C public notice, the notice shall be posted on

 

the active notice portion of the website of the required area for

 

14 days. If the local government or other governmental entity does

 

not have a website, the notice shall be published once in a

 

newspaper in the required area.

 

     (2) In addition to the notice requirements under subsection

 

(1), a printed copy of the notice required under subsection (1)

 

shall be made available for public inspection by the local

 

government or other governmental entity for the duration of time

 

that the notice is required under subsection (1).

 

     Sec. 8. (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 9 or 10,

 

and subject to section 11, beginning January 1, 2025, a local

 

government or other governmental entity required to provide public

 

notice under this act shall provide that public notice as follows:

 

     (a) For tier A public notice, the notice shall be posted on

 

the active notice portion of the website of the required area for

 

30 days.

 

     (b) For tier A public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

posted on the active notice portion of the website of the required

 

area for 30 days with a link to the full document involved.

 

     (c) For tier B public notice, the notice shall be posted on

 

the active notice portion of the website of the required area for

 

14 days.

 

     (d) For tier B public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

posted on the active notice portion of the website of the required

 

area for 14 days with a link to the full document involved.


 

     (e) For tier C public notice, the notice shall be posted on

 

the active notice portion of the website of the required area for

 

14 days.

 

     (2) In addition to the notice requirements under subsection

 

(1), a printed copy of the notice required under subsection (1)

 

shall be made available for public inspection by the local

 

government or other governmental entity for the duration of time

 

that the notice is required under subsection (1).

 

     Sec. 9. (1) Upon receipt of a written petition signed by not

 

less than 10% of the registered electors of a local government, the

 

governing body of that local government shall submit the question

 

of requiring that public notices be provided in a newspaper for 5

 

years to the registered electors of that local government at the

 

next general November election.

 

     (2) Subject to section 11, if a majority of the registered

 

electors voting on the question vote in favor of requiring that

 

public notices be provided in a newspaper for 5 years, the local

 

government shall provide public notice as follows:

 

     (a) For tier A public notice, the notice shall be published

 

twice in a newspaper in the required area and may be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 30

 

days.

 

     (b) For tier A public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

published twice in a newspaper in the required area with a summary

 

of the document involved as well as a statement indicating a

 

location where copies of the full document involved are available

 

for public inspection. In addition, the notice may be posted on the


 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 30

 

days with a link to the full document involved.

 

     (c) For tier B public notice, the notice shall be published

 

once in a newspaper in the required area and may be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 14

 

days.

 

     (d) For tier B public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

published once in a newspaper in the required area with a summary

 

of the document involved as well as a statement indicating a

 

location where copies of the full document involved are available

 

for public inspection. In addition, the notice may be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 14

 

days with a link to the full document involved.

 

     (e) For tier C public notice, the notice shall be published

 

once in a newspaper in the required area and may be posted on the

 

active notice portion of the website of the required area for 14

 

days.

 

     (3) In addition to the notice required under subsection (2), a

 

printed copy of the notice required under subsection (2) shall be

 

made available for public inspection by the local government for

 

the duration of time that the notice is required under subsection

 

(2).

 

     (4) A petition under this section, including the circulation

 

and signing of the petition, is subject to section 488 of the

 

Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.488. A person who

 

violates a provision of the Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL

 

168.1 to 168.992, applicable to a petition described in this


 

section is subject to the penalties for a violation in the Michigan

 

election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.1 to 168.992.

 

     (5) As used in this section only, "newspaper" means a print

 

publication that is published for the dissemination of local news

 

of a general character or for the dissemination of legal news and

 

to which all of the following apply:

 

     (a) The print publication is published and distributed in not

 

less than weekly intervals.

 

     (b) Not less than 50% of the words in the print publication

 

are in the English language.

 

     (c) The print publication has a bona fide list of subscribers

 

in 1 or more counties in this state or is available to the public

 

at newsstands or other retail locations in 1 or more counties in

 

this state, or both.

 

     (d) The print publication accepts and publishes official and

 

other notices.

 

     (e) The print publication regularly contains information of a

 

public character or of interest or value to residents, property

 

owners, or the general public.

 

     (f) The print publication has been published or distributed

 

for not less than 1 year.

 

     Sec. 10. (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 9, if a

 

local government or other governmental entity required to provide

 

public notice under this act enters into a contract with a local

 

media outlet regarding the provision of public notice, then the

 

local government or other governmental entity shall provide public

 

notice as follows:


 

     (a) For tier A public notice, the notice shall be posted on

 

the active notice portion of the website of the local media outlet

 

for 30 days.

 

     (b) For tier A public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

posted on the active notice portion of the website of the local

 

media outlet for 30 days with a link to the full document involved.

 

     (c) For tier B public notice, the notice shall be posted on

 

the active notice portion of the website of the local media outlet

 

for 14 days.

 

     (d) For tier B public notice with a link, the notice shall be

 

posted on the active notice portion of the website of the local

 

media outlet for 14 days with a link to the full document involved.

 

     (e) For tier C public notice, the notice shall be posted on

 

the active notice portion of the website of the local media outlet

 

for 14 days.

 

     (2) In addition to the notice requirements under subsection

 

(1), both of the following apply:

 

     (a) The local media outlet shall, at least once each day

 

during its peak listening or viewing hours, make a general

 

broadcast or transmission indicating that public notices may be

 

found on the website of the local media outlet.

 

     (b) A printed copy of the notice required under subsection (1)

 

shall be made available for public inspection by the local

 

government or other governmental entity for the duration of time

 

that the notice is required under subsection (1).

 

     (3) If a local government or other governmental entity

 

provides public notice under this section and that local government


 

or other governmental entity has a website, the local government or

 

other governmental entity shall provide a link on its website's

 

homepage to the active notice portion of the website of the local

 

media outlet.

 

     Sec. 11. (1) If a local government or other governmental

 

entity required to provide public notice under this act enters into

 

a contract with an outside entity to host and provide public

 

notices, then, as used in sections 6, 7, 8, and 9, "website of the

 

required area" includes the website of the outside entity.

 

     (2) If a local government or other governmental entity enters

 

into a contract with an outside entity to host and provide public

 

notices as provided under subsection (1) and that local government

 

or other governmental entity has a website, the local government or

 

other governmental entity shall provide a link on its website's

 

homepage to the active notice portion of the website of the outside

 

entity.

 

     Sec. 12. A website used for posting public notices under this

 

act shall meet both of the following requirements:

 

     (a) The homepage of the website and the portion of the website

 

containing active notices and archival notices shall be publicly

 

accessible and free.

 

     (b) The homepage of the website shall include a prominently

 

displayed link to the active notices and the archival notices.

 

     Sec. 13. (1) Subject to subsection (3), beginning January 1,

 

2015 and not later than December 31, 2024, if a local government or

 

other governmental entity posts a public notice on the website of

 

that local government or other governmental entity, the local


 

government or other governmental entity shall create an online

 

archive for public notices. In addition, the local government or

 

other governmental entity shall maintain in a format that includes

 

the dates of posting a printed copy of each public notice provided

 

for archival and verification purposes.

 

     (2) Subject to subsection (3), beginning January 1, 2025, each

 

local government or other governmental entity shall create an

 

online archive for public notices. In addition, the local

 

government or other governmental entity shall maintain in a format

 

that includes the dates of posting a printed copy of each public

 

notice provided for archival and verification purposes.

 

     (3) This section does not apply to a local government that

 

provides public notice as set forth in section 9.

 

     Sec. 14. A notice posted on a website under this act shall be

 

maintained on the active notice portion of the website for the

 

duration the notice is required to be posted on the website under

 

this act. After that time, the notice shall be maintained in the

 

archival notice portion of the website for not less than 5 years.

 

     Sec. 15. A person that operates a publication that qualifies

 

as a newspaper under this act shall maintain a permanent and

 

complete printed copy of each published edition for archival and

 

verification purposes in the required area. A person that operates

 

a website that qualifies as a newspaper or as a local media outlet

 

under this act shall create a printed copy of any notice, in a

 

format that includes the dates of posting, on the first day that

 

the notice is posted on the website and shall maintain the printed

 

copy in the required area for archival and verification purposes.


 

     Sec. 16. (1) In addition to the requirements of this act, a

 

local government or other governmental entity may prepare an

 

electronic newsletter that contains the public notices required to

 

be provided under this act.

 

     (2) If a local government or other governmental entity

 

prepares an electronic newsletter as provided under subsection (1),

 

the local government or other governmental entity may maintain a

 

permanent list of those individuals who have requested to receive

 

the electronic newsletter provided in subsection (1). The local

 

government or other governmental entity shall forward by electronic

 

mail to each individual on the permanent list the electronic

 

newsletter when it is available.