School bus advertising proposal heads to Senate

The biggest news from yesterday was the passage of West Jordan Republican Jim Bird’s H.B. 199 Advertisements on School Buses on the House floor after the body previously shot down the proposal. The bill was amended to specify that proceeds will go to pupil transportation; no political ads will be allowed; the size of ads will cover no more than 35 percent of the side of the bus and there will be no ads on the front of a bus. It passed on a 42-30 vote. The bill failed in a 27-44 vote on the House floor on Jan. 31 over concerns about safety, but it was resurrected on Friday. The fiscal note for the original bill indicates school districts could net between $750 and $1,500 annually for advertising on each school bus for a total estimate of $3.3 million. It is unclear right now exactly how the amendment limiting advertising space would impact this estimate. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

In other news from the Utah Capitol, several of our bills to watch moved forward yesterday, including:

  • H.B. 23 Controlled Substance Modifications, by Rep. Gage Froerer (R-Huntsville), made it out of the Senate with unanimous support after a compromise was struck in a conference committee convened to work out differences between the House and Senate. The Senate had amended the synthetic marijuana, or “spice,” ban to include “bath salts,” another growing recreational drug problem. The compromise spice ban headed back to the House for consideration this morning and passed with a 65-3 vote.
  • H.B. 116  Guest Worker Program Act, by Rep. Bill Wright (R-Holden), passed out of the House Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Committee on a 6-1 vote. The bill creates a guest worker program for undocumented immigrants to be administered by the Department of Workforce Services and requires the permit holders to try to become at least intermediate English speakers, as determined by standardized tests used by the State Office of Education to assess secondary students. The bill now heads to the House floor for consideration of the full body.
  • H.B. 204 Protection of Athletes with Head Injuries, by Rep. Paul Ray (R-Clearfield), passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee with unanimous support. The bill requires amateur sports organizations to develop and enforce a concussion head injury policy, sets up notifications for parents and requires children with concussions to be removed from play, among other changes. The bill now faces two votes on the Senate Floor before it heads to the governor.
  • S.B. 145 Utah Educational Savings Plan Amendments, by Sen. Wayne Niederhauser (R-Sandy), passed the first of two votes on the Senate floor with unanimous support. It is now circled on the Senate calendar, which means it is essentially on hold. The bill exempts the Utah Educational Savings Plan funds from provisions of the State Money Management Act, among other changes.

Also, so far this morning:

  • H.B. 172 Service Animal Amendments, by Rep. Keith Grover (R-Provo), passed out of the House Public Utilities and Technology Committee, with unanimous support. The bill restricts the definition of service animal to the federal requirements, limiting it to dogs. It now heads to the full House for consideration.
  • H.B. 183 School District Leave Policies, by Rep. Keith Grover (R-Provo), passed out of the House Education Committee on a 10-3 vote. The bill prohibits a local school board from granting paid association leave for certain employee association or union duties. It now moves to the House floor.

Related posts:

1 comment to School bus advertising proposal heads to Senate