TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A new bill seeks to allow ads on the exterior of school buses — an idea that has been proposed in Florida before but hasn’t passed.
The new legislation, filed by Rep. Irving Slosberg on Tuesday, was the first bill filed for Florida’s 2013 legislative regular session, which begins March 5.
Under the legislation, commercial advertisements that are “family and child friendly” could be placed on the exterior of a school bus.
The advertiser would have to reimburse the school district for all costs incurred by the district and its contractors for supporting the advertising.
The bill includes a long list of ads that would be prohibited, such as those for alcoholic beverages or tobacco products and those that are sexual or political in nature.
Also banned would be ads and ad images that “distract from the effectiveness of required safety warning equipment,” the legislation says.
A school bus couldn’t have more than two ads, and the ads couldn’t be larger than 2 feet high and 6 feet long.
All revenue from a bus ad contract would have to go to the school district, with 50% of it being allocated for transportation.
In 2011, the Florida Legislature considered but didn’t pass a bill to allow school bus exterior advertising. In the 2012 legislative session, HB 19 (which included Slosberg as a co-sponsor) made another attempt but died in a committee in March.
The Florida Association for Pupil Transportation (FAPT) has fought efforts to allow ads on school buses. The association has issued a position paper and has contacted legislators to voice its opposition to bus ads.
Last year, the Florida Legislature’s research arm released a report that examines bus advertising and bus fee rules across the U.S.
Florida actually allows ads on the inside of school buses, although FAPT has said that it wasn’t aware of any districts in the state that do it.
To view the new bill, which would go into effect July 1, 2013, go here.