Hugh McQuaid Photo
With a less-than-ringing endorsement, the Judiciary Committee kept alive a controversial bill Friday that changes legal notice publishing requirements for municipalities seeking to reduce the amount of space they must purchase in daily newspapers.

In its current form, the bill allows municipalities to shorten the legal notifications they are required to publish in daily newspapers. Previous versions of the legislation would have allowed towns to move the notices out of daily papers entirely and publish them on their municipal-run websites.

Towns officials, who consider the requirement an expensive mandate, have asked for the change for years. The Connecticut Newspaper Association has lobbied heavily against the bill.

With less than a week left in the session, lawmakers prevented the bill from dying in committee during a brief Friday meeting outside the House chamber. Sen. Paul Doyle, D-Wethersfield, supported the bill but called it “controversial” and made no promises about seeking its final passage this year.

“It’s a compromise and I was just asked to keep it moving and see what happens,” Doyle said.

Rep. Al Adinolfi, R-Cheshire, opposed the legislation.

“I personally love to read the paper and read the whole thing,” he said.

The bill will now return to the Senate, where Chris VanDeHoef, executive director of the newspaper association, said lawmakers are divided on the issue.

“We’re up against the clock on it so we’ll see what happens,” he said.