More government transparency coming from your newspapers
WYOMING — Your newspaper and newspapers across Wyoming are advocating in the state legislature to make government information more accessible to you.
In Wyoming, state, county, city, school district and other governmental entities are legally directed to publish minutes of meetings, payroll information, changes in statutes and zoning, bid information, and other particulars in local newspapers to notify the public of their actions.
The Wyoming Press Association has brought a bill to the 67th Wyoming Legislature requiring the state’s newspapers to publish all public notices that appear in print editions on their websites, too.
Many newspapers are already doing this, and if HB0164 passes, all Wyoming newspapers will be required to add public notices to their websites. State Sen. Bill Landon (S27 Natrona) and Rep. Dave Zwonitzer (H08 Laramie) are sponsoring the bill along with Reps. Trey Sherwood (HD14 Ablany), Daniel Singh (HD61 Laramie), and Stith (HD48 Sweetwater), and Sens. Eric Barlow (SD23 Campbell), Tara Nethercott (SD4 Laramie) and Stephan Pappas (SD7 Laramie).
According to a 2022 Wyoming Coda Ventures survey, 86 percent of Wyomingites cite local newspapers and newspaper websites as their most trusted source for public notices.
Seemingly every day more and more “news” services become available in various digital formats. It is important that readers continue to have newspapers as credible local news authorities. These survey numbers are reassuring to those of us in the newspaper business confirming reader support of our efforts to provide a sound wellspring of information.
According to the independent survey, 8 out of 10 Wyoming adults agree that minutes and financial information from local governments should be published in local newspapers. Now these newspapers are taking this reader reliance a step further by making sure this vital information can also be easily found on their websites.
Already, member newspapers of the Wyoming Press Association fund a website repository of all public notices they publish. wyopublicnotice.com provides a statewide searchable data base and archive of public notices. So you can access any Wyoming public notices free of charge with a simple subject or location search at wyopublicnotice.com.
If HB0164 passes, you will have three independent options to keep track of what your government is up to:
• legal notices in your newspaper print edition
• legal notices on your newspaper’s website
• searchable statewide legal notices at wyopublicnotices.com
Please encourage your state legislators to support more government transparency by supporting HB0164.