It is time for the Alabama legislature to end the state-mandated subsidy to print media outlets
Who won the 2018 general election in Alabama?
You might think with all the talk of $900 prison spending bills, gas taxes, Medicaid expansion and the lottery that Democrats won in a massive landslide and were preparing to implement their agenda. But that is not what happened — Republicans actually picked up seats.
The state of Alabama, with a Republican super-majority, is preparing to spend big and grow government.
As they do this, maybe they can toss the citizens of Alabama a bone and make the government a little more efficient by saving state agencies, counties, cities and school boards a substantial amount of money every year.
Current Alabama law requires government entities in Alabama to advertise legal notices, legislation, constitutional amendments, voter rolls and other public matters in the local print media outlets.
This is not chump change:
- The state of Alabama spends up to $800,000 each year.
- The city of Huntsville spends up to $115,000 each year.
- Madison County spends up to $153,000 each year.
If we were to add up all the costs to local governments, we would find that these costs are in the multiple millions of dollars range.
In a state that has a $6+ billion dollar education budget, this may seem like something that is minuscule and irrelevant, but that is not the case when adding all the entities required by law to hand government money over to private companies to print a product that very few use and could easily be uploaded to an official state/county/city website and be more accessible to your average Alabamians.
The only counter-argument, which will be made by those working in or for the print media industry and no one else, is that there are communities in Alabama that don’t have high-speed Internet and can’t access these websites.
This is a canard that only allows legislators to do nothing and not face the wrath of people who “buy ink by the barrel.”
Keeping these laws on the books only acts to subsidize the print media. It does not benefit your average Alabamian one bit.
This print media subsidy should be ended immediately. Surely there are other things these government entities can spend this money on.