New Law Puts Expiration Date On Older School Buses; First-Year Taxpayer Savings Put At $56 Million

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tennessee lawmakers approved legislation on Monday that sponsors said will raise the safety standards for school buses in the state and save millions in taxpayer dollars. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, and Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, and amended by House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge. 

The new law puts an expiration date on school buses that have been in service for longer than 18 years, unless they have logged fewer than 200,000 miles. Buses with over 18 years but under 200,000 miles may receive an annual exemption until they reach the 200,000 mile mark.

Rep. Dean said, "Under current law, before a used bus can be extended beyond 15 years, it must have four annual inspections in Tennessee. In other words, you have to drive it four years before its 15th birthday. That was changed to two annual inspections. Current law was only allowing a used bus that was less than 11 years old to be kept in service. Now they can buy one that's 13, get it inspected at 13 and 14, then it can be kept in service after 15 years old."

He said an estimated first-year taxpayer savings of $56 million "will come from the fact that local LEAs won't have to go through the cost of replacing buses that are still in good safe operating condition, just because they are 17 years old."

Rep. Travis said, “The legislation will save millions of dollars for our local governments over the next several years, ensuring that more money can be spent in our children’s classrooms.”

As chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Dean said he worked alongside Rep. Travis for the passage of the bill in the House. After holding hearings in the House Transportation Committee with school bus manufacturers, contract school bus drivers, local education agencies, and the Tennessee Department of Safety, Rep. Dean said there was "a glaring need for a compromise."

“Every party has their own priorities and their own needs, but the primary priority of the House from the beginning has been the safety of our children and the efficient use of our taxpayers’ money,” said Rep. Dean. “Rep. Travis and I have worked diligently to come up with a compromise that satisfies all involved parties but does not sacrifice what is truly important.”

The House approved the bill with a 92-0 vote. The bill cleared the Senate with a vote of 28-0 and is now on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

“I am truly thankful to both the Department of Safety and my colleagues in the House for their support of this bill,” said Rep. Travis. “I look forward to even more legislation in the future that not only saves money for our local communities, but also helps ensure our children are protected on a daily basis.”


Top City Of Chattanooga Salaries

Here are the top salaries for the city of Chattanooga: Bean, Russell J       City Judge        $170,537.41 Paty, Sherry B City Judge        $170,537.41 Berke, Andrew L.        Mayor  $161,030 Fletcher, Frederick Allen Police Chief     ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: APPLEBET, MICHAEL VERNARD  1706 BRADT ST CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 57 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PUBLIC INTOXICATION DISORDERLY CONDUCT --- BABCOCK, JEREMY RAY  1134 SHADY FORK RD CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 37 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (5)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

I can never remember a day in July when my garden, my lawn, my dogwood tree, and my ferns are all wilting for lack of rain. Right now we are more than eight inches under our average rainfall for the first six months and, on this wonderful weekend, those who love firecrackers are urged to keep a pail of water in case a spark could cause a fire. On the other hand, every July 4 th ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Whips Dalton For Top Spot In Blue

The Signal Mountain Green Giants have the upper hand in the Chattanooga Area Swim League’s highly-competitive Blue division and the clinched at least a tie for first place with Thursday’s win over Dalton, but they’ll have to wait until Tuesday before the championship celebration can officially begin. The Green Giants lost to Dalton by 15 points at Dalton in the first week of ... (click for more)

Travis Hale New Softball Coach At Soddy-Daisy

Travis Hale, who spent one year under being groomed for the job, has been named the new softball coach at Soddy-Daisy High School. Hale, who previously was an assistant coach at Hixson and head coach at Loftis Middle School, was groomed for the job last season working under coach Wes Skiles, who has stepped down after four seasons. “I focused on paying attention to what ... (click for more)