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State Senators Vote To Open Section Of Northwest Arizona To Electronic Billboards

State senators voted Wednesday to open a swath of northwest Arizona to electronic billboards.

Four Democrats joined with most Republicans to allow construction of up to 35 of the internally illuminated signs within 60 miles of Laughlin, Nev. The coverage area stretches from south of Lake Havasu City to east of Kingman and north, nearly, to the Hoover Dam.

Democratic Senator Steve Farley argued it would chip away the state’s dark skies and the observatories that are part of Arizona’s economy.

"And you add a little bit more, a little bit more until all of a sudden we've destroyed the golden goose that provides the golden eggs for our economy from our astronomy industry,'' Farley said. "We can't do that.''

The proposal is being pushed by Republican Senator Sonny Borrelli, who said this year's version is not being opposed by the astronomy community which helped kill the 2016 bill and that it only affects the northwest corner of the state.

The bill now goes to the House.