Sex-store Billboard Law Restrictions from a Bill Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
Recently, all signs, billboards and any outdoor advertising for strip clubs, adult video stores and other sexually oriented businesses have been more restricted. Sex-shop opponents are using different strategies at the state and local level. Billboard law is one of such strategies. The new billboard law prohibits billboards for any adult businesses within one mile of any state highway. Most such businesses, however, are within a mile of highway. These are limited to have not more than two signs.
One sine, required under the law, must to be no bigger than forty square feet. It can display only the business name, address, telephone number and operating hours. The second sign must state that the property is off limits to minors. Those businesses that currently display larger signs are given three years to remove them.
A number of petitions are circulating to convene grand juries by sex-shop opponents. Their aim is to bring obscenity charges, and they are also seeking zoning changes to keep the businesses out of the commercial mainstream.
Last year, some similar efforts were taken. They resulted in a charge against one business for one video.
The bill is Senate Bill 35.
Sebelius also signed dome other bills. According to them:
Refuse to comply with an order or direction of a uniformed school crossing guard will be illegal. Training for crossing guards is also mandated.
Traffic on four-lane highways is required to move away from highway construction and maintenance vehicles with flashing amber lights, because two Kansas Department of Transportation workers were killed in construction zones last year.
After signing this session's major budget bill, Sebelius released a message where she had praise and criticism for lawmakers. Any of the provisions was not vetoed.
Oregon Court Rules Billboard Law Violates Free Speech Rights
The Yakima Herald-Republic writes that: "In a ruling that may put some federal highway funding to the state at risk, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the state's law limiting billboards along highways violates free speech protections outlined in the state constitution."
Those billboards that are placed outside of industrial or commercial areas and advertise something not sold in that area are limited by the new billboard law. This case began ten years ago and was closed now by the ruling. At that time, the state ordered a billboard company to take down signs in southern Oregon containing religious and commercial messages.
Kevin Neely said, "We don't think that this will mean that billboards can be put up indiscriminately on Oregon's highways, but we are still reviewing this."
Some officials said that the ruling by the state's highest court could result in the state's losing more than twenty five million dollars a year in federal highway funding and open the way for more billboards to be placed along Oregon's highways.
"Will this lead to a proliferation of billboards? Our answer is, it might," said Kevin Neely of the Oregon attorney general's office.
However, a lawyer for a southern Oregon company that had challenged Oregon's restrictions hailed the ruling as a victory for free expression since it removes limits on what messages billboards can contain.