Congresswoman Julia Brownley @ OAAA member Rareform
Congress – Site Visit
We were honored to have Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA) visit OAAA member company Rareform. Brownley is a senior member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, our industry’s key policy jurisdiction and her Los Angeles area congressional district includes the Rareform offices and production facility. Thank you to Rareform owners Aric & Alec Avedissian for welcoming Brownley and her staff, and for continuing to educate them on out-of-home advertising.
Federal – DOL
The U.S. Dept. of Labor issued a final notice on how independent contractors are classified. The rule takes effect in early March and would designate more workers as full-time employees, as opposed to independent contractors. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several transportation trade groups strongly oppose the worker classification change and are advocating that Congress or the courts rescind the rule.
White House – Infrastructure
White House Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu is leaving the White House to become a National Co-Chair of the President’s re-election campaign. Landrieu, who spoke at our 2023 OOH Media Conference, has been the Administration’s point person for the 2021 Infrastructure Act, coordinating the flow of $1.2T in federal dollars to the states. Landrieu has traveled to 130 cities and towns as part of the 40,000 projects that have received federal funding so far.
Federal – FHWA
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) finalized and released the latest edition of their Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The new 11th edition lays out federal guidelines for traffic signs and road surface markings. Among the direction from the feds to states – play it straight with your electronic highway signage; no more funny messaging that could potentially distract drivers. The manual, last updated in 2009, will now be revised every four years due to language in the Infrastructure Act.
States – Ad Tax
The Nebraska legislature is the latest to propose a broad tax on advertising, with introduction of legislation that would levy a 7.5% tax on advertising services. The proposal is tied to the larger state budget and tax package. Revenue raised would help defray costs of a desired reduction in state property taxes. OAAA is part of a national coalition of advertising organizations and will continue to monitor any developments.
States – Privacy
New Jersey became the 13th state to enact data privacy and consumer protection laws when Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation in January. The NJ law will take effect January 15, 2025 and mirrors other state laws in requiring consumer notice, the right to opt-out, and the ability to access and delete personal information.
Federal – DOT
The U.S. Dept. of Transportation announced another round of major projects funded under the Infrastructure Act. The $5B in new projects include bridge replacements for the I-535/US 53 connection between Minnesota and Wisconsin and I-5 between Washington and Oregon; $95M to widen I-10 through Pinal County, AZ; $142M for I-376 in Pittsburgh, PA; and $150M to reconnect communities divided by New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway.
We are well underway in a new political election cycle, with five states & territories scheduled to vote in February.
- February 3 – South Carolina primary (Democrat)
- February 6 – Nevada primary (Democrat)
- February 8 – Nevada and U.S. Virgin Island caucuses (Republican)
- February 24 – South Carolina primary (Republican)
- February 27 – Michigan primaries (both parties)