‘This State Government Function Brought to You By….’

Persons calling the state’s “511” system to check traffic conditions could soon be hearing a commercial before they get information under a bill approved by House and Senate committees.
The bill, HB223, won unanimous approval of the House and Senate Transportation Committees and is now before the Finance Committee of both bodies.. Legislative staff estimates enactment of the bill would produce $400,000 per year in new revenue from the commercials – less an estimated $50,000 to a private contractor handling the advertising.
Another bill, HB224, authorizes the Department of Transportation to put ads on its 72 “HELP trucks,” which provide assistance to motorists. It, too, has won unanimous approval of the transportation committees and awaits finance committee actions.
The HELP truck ads are projected to produce $324,000 per year in revenue, again less $50,000 to a private contractor dealing with advertisers.
Both bills are sponsored by House Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, and Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville.
Under amendments, the ads cannot be for alcoholic beverages, “adult-oriented establishments,” political candidates and political causes or anything illegal.

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