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Our view: Public notices provide transparency, new bill should gain support
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Our view: Public notices provide transparency, new bill should gain support

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There is no doubt that transparency in government remains of vital local and national interest in a democracy.

For more than 100-years the La Crosse Tribune has helped to ensure our community’s citizens are well informed through regularly published public notices. These notices serve as a critically important independent mode of transparency between government and taxpayers, in addition to serving as the official notification vehicle for our court system.

Your newspaper’s publication of these notices provides necessary verification, certification and archiving that ensures individuals and taxpayers rights are protected and preserved. Your newspaper has worked diligently with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association through the years to ensure this reliable third-party check on government remains and that the requirements are continually adapted to ensure maximum governmental transparency and the broadest dissemination of public information.

For example, in 2005, the La Crosse Tribune with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association began digitally archiving all public notices, making them available online at www.WisconsinPublicNotices.org.

This online clearing house of notices from both local and statewide sources serves as a one-stop shop for those seeking this important public information. This online posting is provided at no additional cost to the governmental or private entities required to publish public notices.

This statewide platform is in addition to locally available public notices at lacrossetribune.com.

Toward our continued effort to expand the transparency and reach of public notices, including the important third-party verification, the La Crosse Tribune is pleased to support the work of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, in developing LRB 6355.

The proposed legislation will significantly expand which publications can qualify to publish public notices-including expanding the eligibility of some free distribution newspapers to qualify to publish public notices. We believe the more of our residents who have access to this public notice information, the better.

LRB 6355 also modernizes some of the terminology and requirements in Chapter 985 to again, ensure maximum opportunity for publication of legal notices to best inform your constituents.

We ask you to join us in our support of this important legislation and to contact your state representative and state senators to urge their support.

Thank you to Rep. Joel Kitchens and Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, for supporting the continued publication of public notices by Wisconsin newspapers. And thanks to Rep. Steve Doyle, D-Onalaska, and Rep. Jill Billings, D-La Crosse, for signing on as co-sponsors of LRB 6355.

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