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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

House nixes school bus ads

The House has voted 30-39 to kill SB 1111a, the measure pushed by the Meridian School District to allow ads on school buses, a move the district estimated could bring it hundreds of thousands in much-needed revenue. Even after the bill was amended to narrow its scope and make clear that the ads would be only on the outside of the buses, not the inside, representatives said they had problems with the concept. "We want instant, unfailing recognition of that school bus for what it is," said Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise. Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, said, "This could be considered an endorsement of a product, and I don't believe that's what government wants to do." Several said they feared the ads would be a safety issue, though the bill's sponsor, Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, disputed that.

"Certainly, times are tough," DeMordaunt told the House. "This is an opportunity to supplement the dollars in our education system." But the bill, which had earlier passed the Senate on a 25-9 vote, was narrowly rejected.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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