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Ducey Signs Electronic Billboards Bill, Multiple Other Bills Into Law
Havasu News

By Howard Fischer
May 1, 2017
 
PHOENIX - Arizonans won't have to worry the state or city will demand a background check before someone can sell a refrigerator, a microwave or, possibly more to the point, a gun.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday signed legislation which bars all levels of government from requiring that the owner of any personal property be forced to search a federal or state database before transferring the item. The law, which takes effect later this summer, also says governments can't require the involvement of a third party in such transfers.

Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, said the legislation is the outgrowth of a concern from a constituent who heard of restrictions being enacted elsewhere and wanted to be sure Arizona not only makes those illegal for itself but keeps cities and towns from their own such interference.

But the only such laws approved by voters in other states apply only to firearms, designed to close what some call the "gun show loophole'' that allows individuals with multiple weapons to sell them at such events without getting the same background checks required for sales through licensed gun dealers.

The governor on Monday also signed several other measures.

One with potentially broad effects would impose new restrictions on in-state moving companies.
Federal law already governs situations where people move from state to state. But the attorney general's office said there are many complaints from people moving within Arizona that a company quotes one price, picks up the goods but then insists on additional cash before delivering the items.

This new law not only requires up-front estimates but also says household goods must be delivered once the property owner pays that amount. Any dispute over additional services would have to be resolved later in court.

Ducey also penned his approval to legislation to allow up to 35 electronic billboards within a 40-mile radius of Bullhead City.

That legislation was sought by lobbyists for Lamar Advertising who said they were not part of the 2012 deal which made most of the state off-limits to the internally illuminated signs. The only place new ones are permitted is a swath from the eastern edge of the Phoenix metro area west to Yuma, protecting telescopes and dark skies for southern, southeastern and northern Arizona.

The deal includes limits on illumination and a requirement the signs be switched off at 11 p.m. It also is crafted to bar the signs in and around Lake Havasu City and Hoover Dam.

The gun legislation is the latest bid by lawmakers to forestall some public demand for background checks for all sales, not just those made by licensed gun dealers.

For the moment, there are no state laws. But former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly are using their organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, to lobby for such an Arizona law and to work to elect legislators who will approve such a check.

The more immediate effect would be on a Tucson ordinance which says anyone who wants to sell weapons at the city-owned convention center has to first make sure a background check has been done on the buyer to ensure that person is legally entitled to own a firearm.
 
Why NC Cities, The State and Environmentalists are Fighting
 New Billboard Measures
By Jim Morrill
April 24, 2017
 
RALEIGH, NC - As part of Charlotte's Independence Boulevard project, North Carolina's transportation department took down a billboard at the corner of Independence and Sharon Amity, where more than 85,000 cars whizz by every day.
 
So the question now being debated by the N.C. Supreme Court - and by lawmakers at the General Assembly - is, how much is a sign worth? And how much should taxpayers pay to remove it?
 
Those are some of the issues at stake in a flurry of bills that could be voted on this week by the N.C. House.
 
Pushed by the billboard industry, the measures are opposed by environmentalists as well as cities such as Charlotte.
 
"This would be ... a historic usurpation of local control," said Rykes Longest, who teaches law at Duke University and sits on the board of Scenic America.
 
Existing billboards often find themselves in the way of development or road construction. An industry spokesman says 1 percent of all billboards are lost each year. House Bill 580 would lift restrictions on where those signs could be relocated.
 
"In an effort to stop the loss, we want to be able to maintain the status quo of the (billboard) assets in a particular jurisdiction," said Craig Justus, general counsel for the N.C. Outdoor Advertisers Association.
The bill would allow companies to move signs from an industrial area to a commercial area along major road corridors, regardless of city restrictions.
 
"You're going to see billboards in locations where you haven't seen them before and where they haven't been allowed," said Mark Fowler, zoning supervisor for Charlotte's code enforcement. He said the measure could allow signs on N.C. 49 - Tryon Street - or N.C. 16 - Providence Road.
 
Another bill, HB 578, would expand the area where companies could cut down trees around a billboard and allow them to cut trees in a median if they blocked the view of a billboard.
 
HB 579 would change the way companies are reimbursed for signs that have to be taken down.
 
Now, companies are reimbursed for the cost of the sign itself. The bill would expand the definition of "just compensation" by including, among other things, the value of income that could be generated by the sign.
That's the issue in the case of the sign at Independence and Sharon Amity.
 
The state Department of Transportation took down the sign in 2011 as part of the Independence Boulevard widening. The sign owner, Adams Outdoor Advertising, sued. Although 17 years remained on Adams' lease with the land owner, DOT argued that the sign's fair market value was zero. In 2014 a Superior Court disagreed and said DOT had to consider "rental income generated" as part of compensation.
 
The DOT appealed and won. The state Supreme Court heard arguments last month. A decision is pending.
"That's all we're asking, is to be paid fair market value," said Justus. Or, as he told a committee last week, "Frankly it's a way to preserve our industry."
 
Scott Capps, a maintenance engineer with N.C. DOT, said the state could end up paying up to $1 million per sign under the proposed change.
 
According to the Sierra Club, the state of Minnesota had to pay $750,000 per billboard for "lost income" to sign companies. It paid $4.3 million for the taking of a single digital billboard.
 
Longest, of Scenic America, said if lost income is a factor in compensating for condemned property, what happens if the state condemns a gas station? Or a restaurant?
 
"If this bill comes along and makes an exception for one industry, others will come along and ask," he said.

HighRoad Advertising Adds First Digital Billboard 
By Staff Writer
May 2, 2017
 
Brookings, South Dakota-based LED display manufacturer  Daktronics   announces that Minnesota-based HighRoad Advertising has added its first digital billboard to its inventory.

The billboard was built by Daktronics and serves the Grand Rapids, Minnesota, market. It measures approximately 11' high x 22' wide and features 16-millimeter line spacing to bring advertising and other messages to passersby. As with all Daktronics products being installed outdoors, the company says it put it through stringent tests to make sure it would withstand the harsh outdoor environment.

HighRoad Advertising is a locally owned business offering billboard advertising, specializing in digital advertising, and is located between Grand Rapids and Cohasset, Minnesota.