TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Legislation that would permit advertising on the outside of Florida school buses is still alive, but just barely.

The bill (SB 344) cleared the Senate Prekindergarten-12 Committee on Monday by a 4-2 vote.

It would have died without the vote of Sen. Larcenia Bullard, a Miami Democrat. Bullard approved the measure only to give the sponsor, Sen. Bill Montford, a Tallahassee Democrat, a chance to make it more palatable.

Critics said they were worried about unintended consequences.

Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Wellington Republican, said it would exacerbate inequities among children through advertisements for products some cannot afford.

Bullard was worried about ads for alcoholic beverages.

The bill prohibits ads for such beverages as well as tobacco and other products inappropriate for children, but such restrictions might be challenged in court.