Michigan Senate approves legislation to restrict billboards

| 2/24/2006

Truckers and other drivers who lament the seemingly never-ending erection of billboard signs along roadways would get a slight reprieve under legislation advancing in the Michigan Legislature.

The Senate advanced a three-bill legislative package Jan. 31 that would ban all new billboards along Michigan roads until 2009.

The legislation would bar the state from issuing new billboard permits unless the applicants give up billboard permits they already hold. In addition, a billboard advisory council would be set up and permit fees for billboard renewals would be increased.

A Senate Fiscal Agency analysis said about 14,500 permits for billboards along highways have been issued in the state. About 272 new permits are issued each year.

At least four states – Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont – prohibit billboards to be erected.

The bills – SB567, SB568 and SB911 – have been sent to the House Transportation Committee.