VACo Members – Encourage Your House of Delegates Members to Pass Helpful Public Notice Bill

February 2, 2021

VACo supports HB 2114 (Ransone), which provides that in any instance in which a locality has submitted a timely notice of public hearing to a newspaper published or having general circulation in the locality and the newspaper fails to publish the notice, such locality shall be deemed to have met certain notice requirements so long as the notice was published in the next available edition.

HB 2114 was initially reported from the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee by a vote of 17-4, but it was sent back to the Committee on January 26.  The Committee took up the bill again on January 29, when members debated killing the bill in favor of a study.  Proponents of the bill, however, noted that the topic has already been thoroughly examined by all relevant parties in the legislative offseason, and consensus on the initiative had been reached prior to the bill’s introduction.  Ultimately, HB 2114 again reported out of the Committee to the House.

HB 2114 will now be voted on by the full House of Delegates early this week.  VACo members should contact their legislators as soon as possible to encourage them to pass this helpful bill.

KEY POINTS

  • HB 2114 does not circumvent any public notice requirements. The bill only allows a hearing to go forward if the locality has already followed all relevant public notice requirements and the newspaper inadvertently failed to publish the hearing notice.
  • Current law already allows this for localities located in Planning District 23; HB 2214 simply expands it to all localities in the Commonwealth.
  • This bill is supported by VACo and VML as well as the Virginia Press Association.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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