This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With SB76, which would strip cities of the power to ban or limit digital billboards, billboard companies are once again inserting themselves into the state legislative process ("Legislators sidestep city vs. billboard firms fight," Tribune, Feb. 26).
Once again, it makes no sense that billboards are an issue of such statewide importance that the Legislature needs to address them. Local communities should have the right to regulate signs.
If billboard companies don't get free rein with state-endowed rights to place electronic billboards anywhere and everywhere, they aren't going to suddenly declare bankruptcy. Sweeping aside local government processes is simply not an area that the state should get into.
For no easily understood reason, billboards are already the most protected land use in our state. They don't need more rights!
Why do the billboard companies have so much influence? Easy answer: Providing significant campaign contributions to a bunch of legislators buys special treatment. This raises many ethical questions.
Signs are a local issue and the Legislature should see that. But it's hard for them to see through the dollar signs in front of their eyes.