FRANKFORT, Ky. — School districts could sell advertising space on the outside of their school buses under a bill that passed the state House on Wednesday.
Sponsor Rep. Terry Mills called HB 30, which passed by a 67-29 vote, “a simple bill with the sole intent of generating revenue for local school districts.”
Rep. Brad Montell, R-Shelbyville, said that the legislation will help school districts that “are strapped for revenue.”
The content of advertising allowed on school buses under HB 30 would be left up to local school boards, with the exception of political or campaign advertising and ads for tobacco, alcohol or sexually oriented businesses, which would be prohibited.
All ads would have to be located below the bus windows, behind the front wheel and then only in areas that would not interfere with the effectiveness of warning equipment and reflectors, according to the bill.
But some legislators have expressed concern that the bill could pose safety risks by creating visual distractions to drivers, or could open the door to advertisements for school-inappropriate products.
“I don’t think [excluding alcohol and tobacco] goes far enough,” Rep. Jim DeCesare said last week. “I think there are a lot of other items out there that we probably don’t want on school buses.”
HB 30 now goes to the Senate for its consideration.