If House Bill 160 makes it through the chambers and gets signed by the governor, state vehicles might start looking like they belong in NASCAR. Think of all the advertising on those vehicles.
Here, take a look at HOUSE BILL 160
The primary sponsor is Rep. Thomas Huff, Bullitt County, with co-sponsors Rep. Russell Webber, Bullitt County; Rep. David Hale, Menifee/Montgomery/Powell counties; and Rep. Kimberly Moser, Campbell/Kenton counties.
But it goes beyond vehicles. Tunnels, welcome centers, rest areas, bridges and roadways are also possible.
How about using the legislation to fund a new toll bridge over the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati? “Thank you for using the Kentucky Lottery Toll Bridge. Cash in your losing lottery tickets in place of paying a toll.”
It would appear on reading that one of the intents of HB 160 is to help Kentucky roadways. Many aren’t in the best of shape but how about getting road construction companies to bid on naming rights major thoroughfares. Those won’t want their highway(s) reflecting negatively on their name so we’d have the best roads in the country. No potholes ever! Just add the asphalt company’s name to the roadway. Since Scotty’s Construction is one of the largest in the state, it could have the “Scotty’s Construction Martha Lane Collins Bluegrass Parkway.”
But the bill doesn’t go far enough. Why not include all state facilities in the “naming rights.” Think of the many possibilities if state-owned buildings were included.
Maybe the Valvoline Oil State Capitol Building? “Come visit your state Capitol and get a $15 off coupon on your next oil change.”
Or go across the street to visit the “State-of-the-Art Toyota Governor’s Mansion where there’s a new model every year.”
The possibilities are endless. The legislation mentions “Welcome Centers” as facilities that could be sponsored. Bowling Green not being far from the southern I-65 border, maybe a “Welcome to the Corvette Welcome Center.” Or to the east, where I-64 crosses from West Virginia into the Bluegrass State, the Ashland/Marathon/Speedway Welcome Center?
The Cabinet for Health and Services Building could be the “Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health and Family Services Building.” The Public Service Commission headquarters could go to the highest utility company bid.
Kentucky Tourism Headquarters could attract Buffalo Trace or Maker’s Mark or Evan Williams for naming rights.
While the income from such an effort appears to be earmarked for the Transportation Cabinet, there might be enough money coming in to take care of all government-employee pension programs and enough left over to fully fund education.
Editor’s Note: Ironically, as this was being written Thursday, the announcement came that the Lexington Convention Center is being renamed the Central Bank Center. That name comes after Central Bank offered $20 million for naming rights.