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AZ Governor Considers Replacing Old School Buses with VW Funds

Arizona is slated to receive $59 million from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund, and Gov. Doug Ducey is reportedly considering using it to replace aging school buses across the state, according to Capitol Media Services.

Various groups are suggesting uses for Arizona’s allotted funding, but gubernatorial press aide Daniel Scarpinato revealed that “the governor’s perspective, as it is really on most things involving the budget, is he wants to see as much of the dollars get to our K-12 system as possible.”

“One need we know exists is that we have aging school buses and that there are school buses that need to and are going to be replaced,” Scarpinato said. “So we do see a potential nexus here where we could really help K-12 and our public schools deal with those issues and provide some additional dollars through this settlement.”

The governor’s office is considering clean diesel, natural gas and electric school bus options. Alternatively, school bus engines could be replaced with more efficient ones. Replaced buses cannot be sold or given away, however, they must be destroyed—cut in half, actually.

The airline industry lobbying group Airlines for America proposed using the funding to convert ground vehicles at airports to electric vehicles, and Southwest Gas suggested using it for natural gas conversions.

Both also requested some of the money go toward adding more electric vehicle charging stations. Scarpinato said that Arizona is instead seeking a waiver from a federal prohibition which, if obtained, would require companies who want to establish restaurants or gas stations at rest stops along state interstates to also have charging stations available.

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