Cooper Vetoes Billboard Bill

Cooper Vetoes Tree-killer Bill. Send an Email to Legislators Below!

Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill allowing billboard owners to cut down more public trees along our state’s highways. Upcoming votes on sustaining the governor’s veto provide one last chance for legislators to do the right thing and defeat this bad bill.

NCLCV has explained how House Bill 198 (DOT Legislative Changes) would allow highway billboard owners to cut down more publicly-owned trees in order to improve the visibility of their massive, unsightly signs. 

Unfortunately, the pro-polluter majorities in both the state Senate and House voted to approve the bill over strong public objections. 

Background on the Billboard Bill

As amended, HB 198 will do the following:

  • Remove the protections for redbud trees from existing law.
  • Increase the total area billboard companies can clear of trees along major roads, from 350 to 500 feet.
  • Increase the area they can clear without a permit by 50%, from 200 to 300 feet.
  • Make it harder for the Department of Transportation to deny billboard relocations.

Fortunately, Gov. Roy Cooper has once again stood up for North Carolina’s environment by vetoing the bill. Votes on overriding the governor’s veto of HB 198 are likely to be held soon, possibly this week.

“Protecting North Carolina’s beauty should be a top priority, but this legislation allows tree cutting and destruction of native plants around billboards. In February, I signed Executive Order 305, which sets comprehensive goals for restoring and protecting natural areas, prioritizing native plants, and planting one million trees. North Carolina’s scenic landscapes are one of the reasons why our state just broke records with our tourism economy, and why we have one of the most beautiful places in the world to live. Therefore, I veto the bill.” 

Write to Your Legislators

NCLCV encourages concerned citizens to let your legislators know how you feel about billboards vs. trees: vote “no” on overriding the governor’s veto of HB 198. Then note how they vote—and remember in November. Please note: if you have already sent an email, you can send another one! We have updated the language and encourage you to reach out again.

Thank you for taking action!

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