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Under current law, certain regulations exist for outdoor advertising and off-premise signs. HB 3855 would expand the application of these regulations under the more broadly defined term of “commercial signs.” Regulatory exemptions related to education and private property would be eliminated and regulations would also be expanded to restrict wind load pressure, sign face area, sign height, and sign spacing.
As the author notes in the intent statement, this bill is in reaction to the ruling the struck down the current regulations of billboards as unconstitutional restrictions of free speech. That ruling has been stayed as it is being appealed. If the ruling is upheld, essentially all current regulations would be invalidated and these signs left unregulated. In our opinion, such a result would be of benefit to our principles.
These signs are located on
private property and as such should be free from government interference.
Though this bill would trade one set of regulations for another, arguable a
slightly less burdensome set, it is still not the desired end result in our
view. We believe the court proceeding should be allowed to play out, instead of
the legislature acting in order to preserve burdensome regulations.
For these reasons, we oppose HB 3855.