by Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio
Kentucky Senate President David Williams says it may be the end of the road for a House-approved billboard bill that still awaits final Senate action.
The House voted 80-16 this week to exempt billboards with religious message from state permitting requirements. The vote came despite warnings from environmentalists, the state could lose 42-million dollars a year in federal highway funds if the bill becomes law. Senate President David Williams says if that’s true, the bill will die.
“I haven’t had any direct communication from the Transportation Cabinet about that,” he says. “But, obviously, that bill will not go forward if it’s in violation of some federal regulation that would cost us 42-million dollars.”
A Senate committee also amended the bill to accommodate a long-standing billboard industry request to be allowed to trim vegetation on public rights-of-way blocking billboards on private property. The amended bill awaits a Senate floor vote.