December 14, 2006
Package creates new penalties for failure to maintain existing locations
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed legislation prohibiting new billboard permits in Michigan. The laws also create new penalties for billboard permit owners who fail to properly maintain their existing billboard sites.
"Michigan is blessed with beautiful scenery - fields and forests, lakes, streams and hills" Granholm said. "This legislation will ensure we don't lose that beauty in a mountain of roadside advertisements."
The legislation signed today is the result of more than a year of negotiation. The laws prohibit new billboard permits after January 1, 2007. Currently, approximately 14,000 billboards exist in Michigan, along with approximately 1,200 unused permits. The legislation encourages permit holders who have not already constructed billboards to consolidate permits, reducing potential construction.
The laws also increase penalties and streamline administrative processes to help deter illegal advertising and failure to properly maintain sites as well as provide a consistent, statewide process to determine appropriate maintenance of billboard sites. Increased sign registration fees and late payments will provide funding for the program.
The two bills signed today are Senate Bills 567 (PA 447) and 568 (PA 448). The bills were sponsored by Senators Tom George (R-Texas Township) and Jud Gilbert (R-Algonac), respectively.
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