Utah lawmakers discussed a bill Monday to fund new cleaner school buses, but they put off a vote because of questions about what might happen to the old buses.
Republican Representative Stephen Handy (R-16) of Layton has sponsored a clean school bus bill before. He told KUER previously that it didn’t pass last year because lawmakers were scared off by the price tag. But he’s trying again this year, asking for 20 million dollars of one time funding from the education fund to take old school buses off the road and set up the infrastructure for alternative fuel buses.
“I don’t know whether to have my feelings hurt or feel good about it, but people have been calling me names. They’ve been calling me the 20 million dollar man,” Handy joked. But the discussion on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives focused not on the money required to fund it, but what might happen to those buses manufactured before 2002. According to the bill, the replaced buses are to be made permanently inoperable. Representative Michael Kennedy (R-27) of Alpine suggested those old buses might be of value for resale.
“These are assets in spite of the fact that they are polluting assets, and we should consider the possibility that we might want to use these instead of destroy these instruments,” Kennedy said.
Representative Handy says he’s confident he can find a solution. He pledged to rework the language of HB49 and bring it back to the house floor for a vote.