DeAngelo & Eustace Bill to Allow Ads on State & Local Government Web Sites to Help Ease Taxpayer Burden Advanced by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo and Tim Eustace sponsored to allow local governments to contract with private entities to lease advertising space on their official Internet websites was released Thursday by an Assembly committee.

“Let’s see if it works,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Even if it’s not a large windfall, every dollar counts when it comes to finding savings for the taxpayers. This is a sensible concept that could prove beneficial to taxpayers, with no downside besides a few ads on a website, which we’re all used to seeing at this point. This makes sound fiscal sense.”

“In this day and age, web site ads are commonplace,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Allowing local governments to lead space on their web sites is a fiscally responsible approach, especially with local governments searching for every dollar to provide vital services. We need new and innovative approaches, and this is one of those for local governments.”

The bill (A-2733) permits local units to contract with private entities to lease advertising space on local unit’s official Internet website.

Under the bill, the Department of Community Affairs would develop a standard contract for the lease of advertising space on an Internet website, to include terms that provide for the payment of a fee by the person leasing the advertising space, and require advertisements to comply with provisions relating to content and composition.

In addition to establishing the guidelines for the content and composition of advertisements, DCA would be required to establish procedures for procuring advertisements that relate to the stated purpose of the local unit, policies that require each advertisement to be clearly labeled on the website as an advertisement and a disclaimer on each website that states that the local unit does not endorse the products or services advertised, a schedule of fees to be charged for the advertising space and the amount of lease payments that a private entity may retain for administering the lease contracts.

This bill would require a private entity administering the lease contracts to collect the fees due from the leasing entities and, after deducting the private entity’s fees, to forward the remainder of the fees collected to the treasurer of the local unit.

The bill was released by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.