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Brewer vetoes electronic billboard law

Saying she doesn’t want to put the state’s astronomy industry in jeopardy, Gov. Jan Brewer today vetoed a bill to legalize electronic billboards along highways.

In vetoing HB2757, Brewer said she understands the need to update the state’s outdoor advertising laws to accommodate advances in technology.

But the governor said she’s also mindful of Arizona’s “unique position” as a leader in stargazing.
Arizona, she noted, is home to observatories.

The astronomy industry has invested $1.2 billion here, has a $250 million yearly economic impact and is providing more than 3,300 jobs, she said.

“I simply refuse to place all of this in jeopardy,” she wrote in her veto letter.

Brewer isn’t shutting the door on updating the state’s outdoor advertising laws.

She wrote that she believes a balance can be achieved between the interests of the outdoor advertising industry, and the astronomy industry.

Brewer said she’s also asked John Halikowski, the director of the state’s Department of Transportation, to help update “antiquated” rules on outdoor advertising.

Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford, a Democrat from Tucson, had fought hard against the bill.

She unsuccessfully offered an amendment to require that electronic billboards be located outside a 75-mile radius from an astronomical research observatory or from sites of proposed observatories.

Her amendment would also have limited how bright those billboards can be.

Cajero Bedford said the digital billboards pose a threat to companies and academic groups that have invested in telescopes and research in Arizona.

This is Brewer’s first veto of the year.

7 comments

  1. BRAVO GOVERNOR!!!! and the future of the Earth wins a small victory over stupidity!
    “They went down to the river and watched the world float by. When it went over the falls, they gasped, and then, suddenly, they looked beneath their feet and found air, as they were standing right where the world was, only a moment earlier” Let me off, or ?

    Thanks, Governor Brewer!

    Tom O’Key

  2. Thank you Governor Brewer!

    Electronic Bill boards are the one of the worst light polluters there is and I would even suggest further action to reduce their brightness. They not only pollute in the light spectrum, they also pollute in the Radio Frequency spectrum.
    They are a traffic safety hazard if you try to read them and 90% of the time you can read what is on them anyways!

  3. I grew up in AZ and every time I return, I always mourn the clear crystal skies and beautiful star-filled nights of my childhood. Thank you Govenor Brewer for this gesture of respect to the unique beauty of Arizona.

  4. I have lost sight of the road because of the glare from these signs. I’ll gladly endorse this decision and report it on Astronomy.FM

  5. I’m actually shocked she vetoed it, good for her. But I’ll bet she leaves the door open for special interests as she alluded to in statements made to the press. I think the veto is a temporary measure, a deferment until she can figure out a way to allow electronic billboards in the state. If she is given any kind of evidence the proposal will make more money for those advertisers, more than the astronomy interests, she will flip flop. Its all about money, that trumps all.

  6. My solution Allow LED signs but Restrict them to Day time Only and no night time use turn on at sunrise turn off a sunset

  7. Great job Governer Brewer!

    This makes sense for all kinds of aesthetic and ecological reasons, but also because responsible small businesses in Arizona that want to preserve the night sky will have a level advertising playing field with the out of state multinationals that want to put the stupid LED signs up.

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