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Bill to replace worst polluting school buses passes House

A bill to provide $20 million to replace some of the dirtiest diesel school buses passed the Utah House of Representatives on Friday afternoon. HB49, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, now advances to the Senate.
A bill to provide $20 million to replace some of the dirtiest diesel school buses passed the Utah House of Representatives on Friday afternoon. HB49, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, now advances to the Senate.
Matt Gade, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — One of this session's clean air measures cleared the House on Friday on a 47-22 vote and now gets batted over to the Senate for consideration.

HB49, by Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, directs up to $20 million in one-time money to replace old diesel-burning school buses and provide alternative fuel infrastructure for school districts.

The bill was modified from its original version to include certain considerations for allowing the replaced buses to be modified or retrofitted, if possible, and available for use in districts off the Wasatch Front or out of state, if there is interest.

Initial concerns by lawmakers centered on the outright destruction of an "asset," rather than making some provision for its use elsewhere.

Handy told his colleagues that he believed a good compromise had been reached, and he urged the bill's passage.

"Think about children getting exposed to these fumes," he said.

— Amy Joi O'Donoghue