Bill to put air conditioning, heat in school buses fails

By Maddie Scott | LSU Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE — A Senate bill that would have required heating and air-conditioning systems in school buses failed on the Louisiana House floor Tuesday.

The House rejected the measure 42-57 after nearly 1 ½ hours of debate. Senate Bill 26 would have required the systems on every school bus bought on and after Aug 1. Then in 2027, the bill would have required all school buses to be equipped with them.

Rep. Vanessa LaFleur, D-Baton Rouge, who presented the bill in the House, said the dates would have allowed school districts “a runway” to meet requirements. But many representatives were concerned about the bill’s dependence on local funding and the difficulty that many communities would have finding the money.

“What we’re asking for here is that you’re not placing our children on buses that don’t have heat and don’t have air conditioning,” LaFleur said.

Rep. John Wyble, R-Bogalusa, said lawmakers should prioritize the bill but could not if there’s no state funding available.

“Unless we’re willing to fund this as a legislative body, you’re going to impose an unfunded mandate on local school districts across this state who simply cannot afford this,” Wyble said.

The bill, written by Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, had passed the Senate 33-4.

Rep. Sylvia Taylor, D-Laplace, spoke in favor of the bill, saying the bill is a matter of the health and safety of children.

“Have you ever gone into your car and opened the door and see the heat jumps on you as soon as you walk to the door of your car? It’s affected all of us, especially the elderly people like me,” Taylor said.

Speaking against the bill, Rep. R. Dewith Carrier, R-Oakdale, kept his comments short.

“My poor little town is as broke as the Ten Commandments,” Carrier said. “We can hardly pay anything.”

Rep. Robby Carter, D-Amite, said he has tried passing a bill requiring seat belts on school buses for four years in a row, yet it’s failed every time due to lack of funding. He noted the same problem in trying to require the heating and air-conditioning systems.

Local News

Jeff Davis Police Jury members vote to give themselves raises

Local News

Authorities trying to identify body found in shed

Local News

Area woman recipient of National Caregiver of Year Award

Local News

US 165 closure planned next week

Crime

1 of 2 abducted La. children found dead after mother killed

McNeese Sports

Schroyer named to national committees

Local News

17 state AGs sue Biden administration for allowing foreign farmworkers to unionize

Local News

Rounds of storms possible as tropical disturbance expected to move into Gulf

Local News

La. Supreme Court reverses ‘lookback window’ decision

life

Alligator Park closed due to high water

Business

Preserving the past: Ryan Street historic district could become reality

life

Juneteenth Freedom Festival: Family fun, fireworks, food and more in lineup for area’s 4-day celebration

Local News

Jennings City Council considering whether to increase salaries for mayor, council members

Local News

Contentious Iowa Council meeting ends with abrupt adjournment

life

Feel the Wheels at the Moss Bluff Library

Local News

NBA great Jerry West dies at 86

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Pet projects have long lives

Crime

Local man pleads guilty to 10 counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile

Local News

Student-run coffee company opens after a ‘latte’ collaboration

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Coushatta Pow Wow

Local News

I-10 bridge eastbound lane closed for emergency repairs

Crime

Attorney general: Speed enforcement cameras in Oberlin OK

Crime

BREAKING: Hunter Biden convicted on all 3 felony counts

Local News

Homeward-bound athletes: Return to resume college careers with fresh start