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School bus advertising bill off to rocky start

A bill to advertise on school buses got off to a rocky start Monday in a senate education committee. Several lawmakers expressed reservations about the proposal and as Lynn Hatter reports, so did its bill sponsor.

Senate Minority Whip Bill Montford says he was reluctant to sponsor the bill to allow businesses to advertise on school buses, but calls it another source of funding for schools. Under the bill, half the money generated would go to a school district’s transportation budget, another 25-percent would go to the district board, and the rest would go to the district trust fund. The measure drew opposition from other committee members and some members of the public, like Donna Sanford of Crawfordville.

 “You are wanting to open Pandora’s Box and put advertising on the side. This is like watching Mayberry when we were kids. Now you turn on cable tv and you get porn. This is opening the door.”

Meanwhile, the Florida Beverage Association also spoke up. It says, contrary to media reports, its companies, which are of the non-alcoholic variety, would NOT be participating in the advertising should the bill become law.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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