Truckers and other drivers who have lamented for years the
seemingly never-ending erection of billboards along roadways might be
encouraged by a bill package advancing in Michigan.
The Senate unanimously approved a pair of bills Wednesday,
Dec. 6, that would place restrictions on billboards along Michigan roads. House
lawmakers approved amended versions of the legislation - SB567 and SB568 -
Tuesday, which required the Senate to give final approval before sending the
legislation to Gov. Jennifer Granholm's desk.
The bill package would prohibit billboard companies from
getting permits for new signs unless they gave up the permits for signs they
already own. Companies also would be allowed to take out vegetation that
clutters the public's view of their signs, rather than waiting for the state to
"The number of billboards on Michigan's trunkline roads will
be capped at 16,000 signs," Rep. Phil LaJoy, R-Canton, said in a written
An increase in fees associated with the billboards is
expected to generate $900,000. LaJoy said the additional revenue would allow
more transportation funds to be used for roads.
A Senate Fiscal Agency analysis said about 14,500 permits
for billboards along highways have been issued in the state. About 270 new
permits are issued each year.
At least four states - Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont - prohibit billboards from being erected.