Rep. Farrar Champions Passage of Bill to Support Local Press

May 24, 2023

H.B. 6347

Yesterday, Representative Kate Farrar (D-West Hartford, Newington) championed the passage of legislation in the House to require a percentage of state advertising dollars to be spent with local press organizations.

H.B. 6347, An Act Concerning the Purchase of Print and Digital Advertising by the State, introduced by the Government Administration and Elections Committee, requires that at least 50% of Connecticut's total annual value of print and digital advertising contracts (with the exception of tourism or employee recruitment) go to locally owned or nonprofit press outlets.

"I am proud to introduce the proposal passed yesterday in House Bill 6347. Our local press is an essential cornerstone of our democracy and provides essential information for our civic engagement," said Rep. Farrar. "This bill is a simple step for us as a state government to buy local – with our local press. "

"Taking action to support our local press is crucial to ensure that they continue to inform the public and provide transparency and accountability to the people," said Rep. Blumenthal (D- Stamford), Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee explained. "With this bill, we are making a positive step towards reinforcing our local news outlets—and thereby, our democracy."

"The many out-of-state advertising platforms readily available today have made it more challenging for reliable local and small news outlets to thrive. I am pleased to support this measure that will help our local media to provide relevant customized content for those in our communities," said Rep. Morrin Bello (D- Wethersfield), Vice Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee.  

New York City and Chicago have similar requirements for their city advertising budgets. Yesterday's passage of H.B. 6347 in the House demonstrates Connecticut's commitment to support local news organizations and ensure that our state agencies invest in our Connecticut’s own businesses and non-profits. The bill goes to the Senate next for consideration.