2011 - 2012 LEGISLATURE
February 8, 2012 - Introduced by Representatives Marklein, Doyle, Endsley,
LeMahieu, A. Ott, Petryk, Spanbauer, Thiesfeldt
and Molepske Jr,
cosponsored by Senators Leibham, Harsdorf, Holperin, Schultz and
Shilling. Referred to Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs.
AB548,1,3 1An Act to amend 35.35 (1) (a), 985.03 (1) (c), 985.08 (1), 985.08 (2) (a) and 985.08
2(2) (b); and to create 985.01 (7) and 985.02 (3) of the statutes; relating to: the
3typeface used, and rates charged, for publication of legal notices.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, certain legal notices are required by statute or by an order
of a court to be published in a newspaper. Legal notices are generally published in
a newspaper likely to give notice in the area or to the person affected. Current law
sets standards for the publication of legal notices, including the type of newspaper
that may publish legal notices, a standard line length and type face for a legal notice,
and a minimum and maximum fee that a newspaper may charge for publication of
legal notices. Current law allows for different type faces to be used if the publisher
opts not to use the standard type face. Publication fees vary depending on the type
face used and whether the legal notice is being published for the first time or for a
second or subsequent time. Additionally, under current law, if the person requesting
publication submits a legal notice to a newspaper in a format that does not require
the newspaper to typeset or otherwise modify the legal notice, the fee for a second or
subsequent publication applies. The minimum and maximum fee is adjusted every
two years.
Under this bill, all legal notices must be published in Arial type face and a
standard line rate applies for all publications. The bill eliminates the minimum rate
and requires the standard line rate to be reviewed annually. In addition, under the
bill, any newspaper that publishes a legal notice must also place an electronic copy

of the legal notice, at no additional charge, on a Web site that is maintained by
Wisconsin newspapers for the purpose of maintaining an electronic version of
printed and published legal notices.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB548, s. 1 1Section 1. 35.35 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB548,2,92 35.35 (1) (a) The legislative reference bureau shall provide to the secretary of
3state camera-ready electronic copy in type not smaller than 5.5 6 point Arial for the
4printing of any enrolled proposed constitutional amendment and of each enrolled
5resolution ordered to be printed in the official state newspaper by the president of
6the senate for resolutions originating in the senate or by the speaker of the assembly
7for resolutions originating in the assembly. The copy shall identify material deleted
8from existing law by stricken type, and material inserted into existing law by
9underscored type.
AB548, s. 2 10Section 2. 985.01 (7) of the statutes is created to read:
AB548,2,1311 985.01 (7) "Wisconsin newspapers legal notices Web site" means an Internet
12Web site maintained by Wisconsin newspapers for the purpose of providing and
13maintaining an electronic version of printed and published legal notices.
AB548, s. 3 14Section 3. 985.02 (3) of the statutes is created to read:
AB548,2,1715 985.02 (3) The newspaper that publishes a legal notice shall, in addition to
16newspaper publication, place an electronic copy of the legal notice at no additional
17charge on the Wisconsin newspapers legal notice Web site.
AB548, s. 4 18Section 4. 985.03 (1) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
1985.03 (1) (c) A newspaper, under this chapter, is a publication appearing that
2is published
at regular intervals and at least once a week, containing reports of
3happenings of recent occurrence of a varied character, such as political, social, moral
4and religious subjects, designed to inform the general reader. The definition includes
5a daily newspaper published in a county having a population of 500,000 or more,
6devoted principally to business news and publishing of records, which has been
7designated by the courts of record of the county for publication of legal notices for a
8period of 6 months or more.
AB548, s. 5 9Section 5. 985.08 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB548,4,510 985.08 (1) The fee for publishing a legal notice shall be not more than 14 cents
11per standard line for the first insertion and not more than 11 cents per standard line
12for each subsequent insertion
the rate issued by the department of administration
13for the first and subsequent insertions per standard line
. The charge for the
14publication of a facsimile ballot shall be computed as if the area occupied by the ballot
15were set in standard lines. If a legal notice contains tabulated matter, then the fees
16allowable for the area containing such matter shall be increased 50% of the standard
17line base rate without adjustment for circulation premium. Composed matter shall
18be interpreted as being tabular when it contains 2 or more justifications per line. The
19minimum fee for any legal notices shall be $2. The maximum rate specified in this
20subsection shall be adjusted each 2 years
standard line rate shall be reviewed
, the adjustment, if any, to be effective on January 1 of each even-numbered
22year to reflect the relevant change in costs of the newspaper publishing industry as
23compared with such costs on October 1 of the 3rd year preceding that January 1

24during the previous year, as determined by the department of administration in
25consultation with representatives of the daily and weekly newspaper industry of the

1state. In making the determination the department shall base the determination
2standard line rate upon the factors of wage and independent indices of newsprint
3costs in the proportions determined by the department to be proper. No additional
4fee may be charged for placing a legal notice on the Wisconsin newspapers legal
5notice Web site pursuant to s. 985.02 (3).
AB548, s. 6 6Section 6. 985.08 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB548,4,217 985.08 (2) (a) All legal notices shall be in Arial type face. A standard line shall
8be 6-point Spartan lightface set Arial on a 6-point slug leading without spacing
9between the lines, and 11 picas in length. One inch equals 6 postscript pica and 72
10postscript points.
Nonstandard type faces and line lengths shall be allowed with
11adjustments in fees according to variations in type set and line length. When a
12publisher does not have, or
the person or agency that places the notice elects not to
13use a 6-point body type Arial, a larger body type Arial up to 12 point may be used;
14in which case adjustment shall be made in line rate, proportionately decreasing for
15sizes of type over 6-point to produce the same net average compensation per column
16area. Such adjustments shall be evaluated by the department of administration
17which shall certify the same to any newspaper, public official or other interested
18party upon request, and such certification shall be presumptive evidence of the
19correct adjustments. A 5 1/2-point type face set on a 6-point slug shall be acceptable
20in lieu of a standard line, but the rate for the 5 1/2-point type line shall not exceed
21the rate for a standard line as set forth in sub. (1).
AB548, s. 7 22Section 7. 985.08 (2) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB548,5,423 985.08 (2) (b) When camera-ready electronic copy for the entire notice or
24substantial areas thereof is provided, eliminating typesetting, enlargements or
25reductions, or other changes by the newspaper, the maximum rate is the same as the

1maximum rate established under sub. (1) for subsequent insertions. To qualify for
2the subsequent insertion rate for camera-ready copy, the copy may be no larger than
38-point type and shall comply with the column width certified for each newspaper
4by the department of administration under par. (a).
AB548,5,55 (End)