Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-714

Title:

AN ACT REQUIRING THE DISPLAY OF "WELCOME HOME" MESSAGES FOR RETURNING CONNECTICUT MILITARY UNITS ON OVERHEAD HIGHWAY SIGN BOARDS.

Vote Date:

3/18/2011

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/7/2011

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Senator Guglielmo, 35th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

The proposal requires the Department of Transportation to greet returning military units by using electronic overhead signs on highways to say “Welcome Home”.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Acting Commissioner J Redeker, Department of Transportation – Opposes the bill as written. The Federal Highway Administration, including the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, prohibit the use of CMS for general informational messages such as the “welcome home” message. The manual reads: “The appropriate use of CMS and other types of real-time displays should be limited to managing travel, controlling and diverting traffic, identifying current and anticipated roadway conditions, or regulating access to specific lanes or the entire roadway. The use of CMS for the display of general public information or other nonessential message is discouraged; only essential messages should be display on a CMS”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Maureen Kermode – Began trying to get “Welcome Home” messages on the overhead highway signs in 2004 when the first group of CT soldiers, including her husband, were returning from their tour in Iraq. Having seen a message for the UConn's women's basketball team after winning the National Championship, she didn't think it would be difficult. ConnDOT rejected the request. She believes that our troopers returning home deserve an inspiring homecoming. This is a simple act shows that CT appreciates them and is grateful that they are home safe. If we can congratulate UConn teams, we can thank soldiers for their service.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

SEE AGENCY RESPONSE

Reported by: Mary Anderson

Date: March 23, 1011