Posted Online: Feb. 06, 2013, 10:50 pm
Illinois newspapers launch new, free public notice website
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The Illinois Press Association has launched a statewide website that lets people view public notices from newspapers across the state, even after they've appeared in print.
PublicNoticeIllinois.com is a public service made financially possible by Illinois newspapers at no additional cost to local or state government.
A state law that took effect at the end of 2012 requires all public notices to be uploaded to the website after they are published in local newspapers.The site helps people who want to know more about the actions of local, county and state government and events in the local and state court system. It is theonly central Internet location for searching, viewing and printing an aggregation of Illinois public notices.
"Public notices are vital to open government," said Dennis DeRossett, IPA executive director. "This website is an extension of services already provided by newspapers, and we've been able to do this for the public at no cost to taxpayers."
Mr. DeRossett said the site is in addition to publication in newspapers, as required by state law.
"With the combination of print and online, the availability and access of all public notices is greatly enhanced," he said.
Visitors to the site can search notices by community, newspaper or keyword. The site is being used as a model for other states, including Ohio and California, according to the IPA.
A public notice, sometimes called a legal notice, is anything required by law or the judiciary to be published in the newspaper, including foreclosure notices, assumed name notices for new businesses, municipal budgets, zoning changes, notice of meetings and property assessments.
"A true democracy depends on such transparency," Mr. DeRossett said. "It is critical to have transparency and accountability by all government entities and the public notice website is an important new tool for citizen access to this important information."