A bill cleared the House today that would appropriate millions of dollars for a bus replacement program for school districts so they can switch to cleaner alternative fuels.
The bill, HB41, is now in the Senate. Introduced by Rep. Steve Handy, the bill would appropriate $13 million for the program, with another $7 million to build the infrastructure and bus shop retrofits to accommodate for the change, according to the Standard-Examiner.
However, The Salt Lake Tribune reported today that it may be difficult for appropriators to find $20 million total for this program, and that could prevent final bill passage. Handy said the bill isn't just a clean air initiative; it also would help schools save money on fuel. He estimated each bus would save $40,000 in fuel during a 15-year lifetime.
This legislation comes on the heels of an announcement made by Gov. Gary Herbert that his 2015 fiscal year budget has a planned appropriation of $14 million for the bus replacement plan. Herbert said the legislation would allow districts, using a 50-50 match, to replace as many as 170 old school buses in the 2015 fiscal year.
Read more details about the bus replacement program here.