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School Bus Ad Bill Advances

A bill to allow corporate logos and other business advertisements to adorn black-and-yellow school buses that carry Idaho children to classes has moved to the Senate floor. The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday advanced the bill that was introduced earlier this month by Republican Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder of Boise. Lawmakers contend the ads are needed to offset the state budget deficit that will require nearly $92 million in cuts to Idaho agencies next year. Superintendent Charles Shackett of Bonneville Joint School District 93 in eastern Idaho supports the bill. District 93 officials have already developed relationships with advertisers by approving ads at sports facilities and scoreboards. Superintendent George Boland of Idaho Falls School District 91 said he was concerned about unintended consequences. He said if the bill passes he will meet with school board members to discuss the move. About half a dozen states already allow bus advertising, and the idea can be traced back more than a decade, though budget woes have led to a resurgence in recent years.

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