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Senate advances school bus advertising idea; ads on toilets next?

Senators passed a proposal Thursday morning that allows school districts to slap advertisements on school buses as a way to raise money.

The Senate Transportation Committee passed it by an 8-2 vote, with Sens. Lizbeth Benacquisto and Rene Garcia voting no.

Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, asked Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, if he knew of any opponents of the idea. Montford, the sponsor of SB 344, said no.

Evers received 61 emails against this bill and zero in support, he said, “but I’ll support the bill today.”

That surprised one woman in the room, Donna Sanford, who urged members to postpone their vote. She said the ads will expose students to propoganda.

"If you pass this you've also opened our school doors to the ads creeping down the hallway. They'll jump on those bulletin boards, and the lockers, and then they’ll be on toilet seats," she said.

Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, voted for the bill but said she wanted to eliminate potential controversy that could come from placing graphics and pictures on the bus. Company names only would be better, she said.

This is the second Senate committee to pass Montford's bill. The House companion, HB 19, has also been approved twice.