RALEIGH, N.C. — House Republicans are floating a measure that its author believes could help the General Assembly reach a compromise over an effort to let government and legal notices be posted on county websites, instead of using paid ads in newspapers.

The House Rules Committee voted Thursday for a proposal that would give Durham, Guilford, Forsyth and Buncombe counties the option to make their websites clearinghouses to publish or advertise notices like zoning proposals, contract bids and foreclosures.

The pilot program is a substitute for a Senate measure that would have given all local governments the option to post announcements online. Supporters of the idea argue it would save taxpayers money, but press groups are worried it could hurt small newspapers and make it harder for rural residents to access information.