School Bus Advertising Moves Out of Committee

January 30, 2018

HB 809 (O’Quinn), which allows local school boards to sell advertising space on school buses, reported out of the full House Education Committee by a vote of 18-2. Introduced by Delegate Israel O’Quinn, the bill permits school boards to sell commercial ad space on the sides and rear of a bus as well as between the rear wheels.

The legislation was narrowly tailored to restrict what kind of advertising is allowed.  Specifically, the advertising material cannot (1) obstruct the name of the school division or the number of the school bus; (2) be sexually explicit; or (3) pertain to alcohol; food or beverages that do not meet the nutrition standards of the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 or any additional state or local nutrition standards for food or beverages sold to students in school; gambling; politics; or tobacco.  Additionally, the bill was amended in Committee to stipulate that only “commercial” advertising would be permitted, addressing possible concerns about religious, political, or nonprofit advertising that may run into First Amendment concerns.

HB 809 will now be placed on the House Calendar and will reach the floor later this week.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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