Tuesday, December 15, 2009


 Lawmaker testifies before House Transportation Committee to streamline bus reporting requirements
Michigan students will be safer on buses and schools will pay an estimated $600,000 less statewide through reforms approved today by the House Transportation Committee.

State Rep. Gail Haines today testified before the committee on her legislation to protect school children on buses and cut government red-tape costs.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of students, and this win-win legislation improves safety at a lower cost," said Haines, R-Waterford. "I'm hopeful for a quick passage by the full House to allow school districts to save money for drivers and school districts by streamlining safety training, and help bus drivers meet federal safety standards."

Haines' legislation, House Bill 5363, was introduced in September to:

• Streamline the requirements for our state's school bus drivers' safety education courses to ensure that bus drivers are not taking overlapping training courses at an added expense to drivers and/or school districts;

• Improve the requirement for medical exams to align them with federal standards; from requiring annual exams to requiring bi-annual exams for bus drivers unless there is a known health issue, again saving money for both drivers and districts; and

• Set a health safety standard for drivers with known illnesses, such as diabetes.

"As schools are faced with budget dilemmas, the safety of the children must remain a top priority," Haines said. "This is simply common-sense, money-saving legislation to cut red tape and bureaucracy in government while keeping our kids safe."

HB 5363, which was unanimously approved by the committee, now heads to the full House for consideration.

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