- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The Latest on New Jersey legislation to scrap a requirement that legal notices be published in newspapers. (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

New Jersey lawmakers cleared the way for the Democrat-led Assembly and Senate to vote on legislation to kill a requirement that local governments publish legal notices for public meetings and other business in newspapers.

The Assembly appropriations and Senate budget committees greenlighted the legislation Thursday. The measure could come for a vote and then head to Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s desk for a signature as soon as Monday.

Newspapers and political opponents say Christie is targeting media organizations because of what he views as negative coverage of him.

The governor’s office and supporters say the bill could save local governments millions of dollars, but a cost estimate was not available Thursday.

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11:45 a.m.

A New Jersey Senate panel advanced legislation that would scrap a requirement that government agencies publish legal notices for public meetings, contract bids and other matters in newspapers.

The Senate government committee voted Thursday to advance the legislation without recommendation, which means senators could change their vote when it comes for a final vote, possibly by Monday. The Assembly is also weighing the bill Thursday.

Newspapers and political opponents of Republican Gov. Chris Christie say he is targeting media organizations over their coverage of him.

The governor’s office and supporters say the bill could save local governments millions, but a cost estimate was not available Thursday.

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12:05 a.m.

Newspapers in New Jersey and political opponents say Republican Gov. Chris Christie is targeting the media organizations by pushing a measure to allow state and local governments to post public notices on their own websites, rather than in the print publications.

State and local government agencies across the country are required to post legal notices for public meetings, contract bids and other matters.

The lobbying groups representing them in New Jersey say the measure would help them save money, and that the option to post notices on their own websites recognizes changes in technology.

Lawmakers across the country have proposed eliminating the print requirement as newspapers have continued to lose readership.

Legislative committees are scheduled to vote on a bill Thursday. It could get final approval as early as Monday.

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