North Carolina Governor Vetoes Billboard Bill
North Carolina Governor’s Veto of H645
A message from TJ Bugbee,
Executive Director, North Carolina Outdoor Advertising Association
In light of Governor Cooper’s veto of House Bill 645 – Revisions to Outdoor Advertising Laws, the North Carolina Outdoor Advertising Association issued the following press release:
In a misguided move, Governor Cooper has decided to stand against small businesses, private property rights, freedom of speech, and the taxpayers of North Carolina in one stroke of a pen.
In his veto message, Governor Cooper mischaracterizes his veto on House Bill 645 as protecting the environment and allowing local governments to have a say in the placement of billboards. The bill in the form vetoed by the Governor deals only with the replacement of existing billboards whose location had already been approved by the local governments, and allows only limited vegetation removal for public visibility.
The outdoor advertising industry worked exhaustingly with stakeholders at all levels. This included groups representing cities and counties across the state, as well as state agencies, including the Governor’s own Department of Transportation, to address their concerns. No additional concerns were expressed by the Governor prior to the passage of this legislation. This bipartisan legislation, which is a reasonable, responsible solution for the limited relocation of existing billboards, is not only pro-business and pro-property rights, but also saves millions of dollars for the taxpayers of North Carolina.
There are 1,000 less billboards in the State than there were ten years ago, and Governor Cooper’s veto of H645 places the burden of millions of dollars in just compensation payments on the Department of Transportation when future billboards are removed because of highway projects. Not allowing this bill to become law will amplify the budgetary problems DOT is already facing, requiring payments for billboards to the exclusion of other infrastructure, such as highways, bridges and potholes, and the taxpayers of North Carolina are on the hook for paying these costs.
North Carolina Outdoor Advertising Association