Proposed bill could put corporate names on Pa. state buildings

     The bill would allow companies to buy the rights to have their names on state buildings. It's a bid to get the legislature some money in the midst of a severe budget deficit. (Photo by AP)

    The bill would allow companies to buy the rights to have their names on state buildings. It's a bid to get the legislature some money in the midst of a severe budget deficit. (Photo by AP)

    Two state senators are planning to introduce a proposal that would allow private businesses and others to buy naming rights to state buildings.

    Any revenue gained would go toward fixing up older government buildings that have fallen into disrepair.

    Bill sponsor David Argall, a Berks County Republican, said the idea is to use the revenue to cut facility costs. He said Pennsylvania has too many state buildings, in part because instead of fixing old ones, it puts employees in new rentals.

    “So we said let’s fix up some of the older offices, let’s get rid of the rentals — but the question then came, ‘great idea, where you come up with the money?’” he explained.

    Argall said revenue would be earmarked specifically for those building repairs.

    “We think that it may actually be very similar to what the private sector already does,” he said.

    He notes, there are concerns that conflicts of interest that could arise from letting private companies put their names on state buildings.

    “I think that there’ll have to be some limits,” he said. “You know, as always, the devil’s in the details.”Those details may be hammered out in the next few weeks, as the bill moves into committee.

    It’s modeled after an arrangement between the state Farm Show Complex and the Weis supermarket chain, which bought naming rights for $750,000 in 2012.

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