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House Overrides Easley's Veto Of Billboard Bill

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RALEIGH, N.C. — State lawmakers make history Monday night, voting to override Gov. Mike Easley's veto of a controversial billboard bill.

The state House voted 79-34 to override the veto of

House Bill 429

, that would require local governments to pay billboard owners cash if ordered to remove a sign.

Three-fifths of the legislators present in each chamber have to agree to defeat the veto, something the General Assembly has never attempted.

The House needed at least 68 favorable votes from the 113 members voting Monday night to override the veto.

The measure states that governments without a compensation method already in place would have to pay billboard owners up to five times the sign's annual revenue before tearing it down.

Last week, Easley gave the thumbs-down to a bill, saying it was unfair to local governments and that he hoped to reach a compromise with lawmakers.

"I am disappointed that the House did not make an effort to reach a compromise," Easley said in a statement issued late Monday.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it passed 34-11. Both the House and Senate approved the measure last month by wide margins.

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