Legal ads bill now before Gov. Jindal

With little discussion, a bill that would broaden the competition for publishing legal ads in Jefferson and Orleans parishes zipped to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk Tuesday.

The state Senate voted 38-0 in favor of House Bill 787. The bill now goes to Jindal for deliberation.

HB787 aims to allow The New Orleans Advocate to vie for the business of publishing legal notices in the New Orleans area.

State law says each parish in the state must designate a newspaper as the official publication to run judicial advertisements and legal notices. In order to be selected, newspapers are required to meet a number of different stipulations, among them is a requirement that the publication must have been physically located in the parish for five years. The New Orleans Advocate launched in 2012.

The Legislature made changes to the law a few years after The Times-Picayune stopped delivering a printed newspaper seven days a week. The changes allowed The Times-Picayune’s owner, NOLA Media Group, to continue to compete for the judicial advertisements and legal notices.