Telescopes win out over electronic billboards expansion

Kitt Peak National Observatory
Kitt Peak National Observatory

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services/Arizona Daily Sun

Deciding the astronomy industry was too important to endanger, a Senate panel on Monday killed legislation to expand the areas in the state where illuminated billboards would be permitted.

The 6-3 vote by the Committee on Commerce and Workforce Development came after Lori Allen, director of Kitt Peak National Observatory, read off a list of financial impacts that having some world-class telescopes brings to the state. That includes $250 million in annual economic activity, $12 million in tax revenues each year, $1.2 billion in capital investments and more than 3,300 jobs.

“These are high tech jobs,’’ she said. “These are the kind of jobs we want.’’

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