The bill was placed on the “foot” of the Senate calendar, which means that the Senate will not be voting on the measure in the immediate future and possibly will not vote at all. Traditionally, a bill placed on the “foot” of the calendar lacks the necessary support for passage.
But things sometimes change unexpectedly at the Capitol, and it will not be over until the session ends at midnight on June 5. Another bill on the same topic – Senate Bill 1112 – is still alive, and a Senate Democratic spokesman said the bill is still under consideration.
Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, who directs the flow of which bills get called and which don’t, said on Thursday night that “there’s no final decision on it yet.”
State Sen. Steve Cassano, the former mayor of Manchester, has been pushing hard for the bill, and he made an impassioned plea for the measure Wednesday during a closed-door Democratic caucus. The Senate Democrats are apparently split on the controversial issue.
Newspapers around the state have rallied against the bill, which was pushed by cities and towns as an effort to save money. Some municipalities wanted to place the legal notices on their town web sites, thus saving money from publication in newspapers.
But the newspapers struck back with a major advertising campaign, including full-page ads in The Hartford Courant, The Connecticut Post, The New London Day, The New Haven Register, and the Waterbury Republican American. The ads were sponsored by the Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association, which was founded in 1904.
In the most recent ad Monday, The Courant devoted a full page to say, “No More Back Room Politics” and “Don’t let Connecticut officials remove your right to know from the newspaper.”
The ad continued, “Public notices are an important tool in assuring an informed citizenry. They have helped develop America into a participatory democracy for hundreds of years and where it counts the most: how your tax dollars are spent, how policy is made and how our futures are charted.”
The advertisement stated that fewer than 10 percent of the population “views a local, state or federal government website daily.” By contrast, “83 percent of adults read a community newspaper every week.”