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Commonwealth's Counties

Unfunded mandate school bus bill comes to a halt

On January 25 at a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee’s Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee, VACo staff spoke in opposition to HB 1710 (Krizek), which instructs the Virginia Board of Education to make regulations requiring each new public school bus purchased to be equipped with a seat belt consisting of a lap belt and shoulder strap or harness in every seat. The bill would also require that every school board also ensure that such seatbelt equipment is present in every school bus by July 2037.

While some localities have already begun to voluntarily move in this direction, most localities have not. Upgrading a school division’s fleet of school buses to include new seat belts or purchasing new buses to comply would create a significant fiscal impact to localities.

Thank you to everyone who responded to our call to action and contacted your Delegates to express opposition to bill. The Subcommittee voted 5-2 to recommend laying the bill on the table.

VACo Contact: Jeremy Bennett

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