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.