NAACP, AARP object to Internet public notice proposal

Chris Wetterich

The Illinois chapters of the NAACP and AARP oppose a bill in the Illinois House that would allow local governments to place public notices on their websites instead of publishing them in a general-interest newspaper.

Both groups say they worry about their members not having access to public information if the bill passes.

 "This bill seeks to undermine those without Internet access, which includes a great number of minorities," said Donald R. Jackson, president of the Illinois State Conference of the NAACP, in a news release distributed by the Illinois Press Association.

Forty-six percent of blacks and 40 percent of Hispanics do not have home access to the Internet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

 The AARP similarly said that older Americans "do not universally utilize the Internet and would be disadvantaged by this shift to online posting of notices," the IPA said.

Supporters of House Bill 1869 say it will save taxpayers' money by making the information available on the Internet rather paying for newspaper advertising. Some supporters also say the government should not have to subsidize newspapers when information is so easily available online.

 Chris Wetterich can be reached at (217) 788-1523.