The full senate passed HB 4629 today, a bill to regulate digital billboards, the last day of session until the new year. This bill was created in most part to deal with issues that were presented to MDOT from a federal audit done on the Highway Advertising Act. If these issues (definition for digital billboards, definition for non-conforming billboard, etc) are not address, the state will lose a portion of their federal transportation funding. This bill would allow a local unit of government to create a more stringent policy than that at the state level if they so choose to. We also asked that the word “operation” be added into what can be regulated by the local unit of government to ensure that digital billboards would be encompassed in that definition.
There were many amendments made this week (many of them dealing with MDOT) to the legislation but the local control piece and the addition of “operation” remained a part of the finished product leaving committee.
Once the full House concurs with the changes (since it was a house originated bill) it will be sent to the governor for his signature.
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues. She can be reached at email@example.com or 517-908-0305