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House clears way for school bus ads

School buses in Letcher County and elsewhere in the state could become rolling posterboards for advertisers under legislation passed by the Kentucky House on Tuesday.

The measure would give school districts the option of selling advertising space on the exterior sides of school buses. Money generated from the ads would stay in the district, and the local school board would decide how to use it.

The bill’s sponsor said that education and business would both benefi t, and that unconventional ideas are needed to generate new money for cash-strapped school districts.

“I am worn out with hearing about how short funding is,” Rep. Terry Mills, D-Lebanon, said after his bill passed 61-35. “I just think we need to get out of the box a little bit and look for creative ways to produce revenue.”

Political advertising would be prohibited on the buses, as would ads for tobacco or alcohol products. Otherwise, local school boards would determine the length and terms of the ad contracts, and the content of the advertising.

Mills said he’s confident that school boards would use “good judgment” in choosing ads.

His measure now heads to the Senate.

Mills said he wasn’t surprised by the level of opposition, though no one spoke against it during the debate.

“When I first mention this idea to people who haven’t heard it, there’s a ‘jump-back reaction’ simply because it’s not school buses as they’ve always known them,” he said.

The ads would be placed below the windows on the sides of buses. The ads couldn’t interfere with any warning or reflective devices. commission of a criminal offense with the intent to hinder punishment of Johnson, when she hid him in her bathroom and denied doing so to Lt. Jason Bates of the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department.

The grand jury says Castle received stolen property by having approximately 50 knives and a mining light with a rechargeable battery, which had been stolen from Jacob Johnson. The grand jury said she tampered with physical evidence when she attempted to destroy the stolen property.

Castle remains in the Letcher County Jail. Bond is set at $5,000 cash or property.

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