STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2400
RE: S.B. No. 2325
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Education and Transportation, to which was referred S.B. No. 2325 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SCHOOL BUSES,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to mandate that all school bus contracts be required to be fulfilled entirely by vehicles propelled by electric power or non-fossil fuels and be equipped with seat belt assemblies by January 1, 2030.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from Surfrider Oahu. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Education and Akina Tours and Transportation.
Your Committees find that electric power technology can be expected to advance in the years to come. This is likely to provide improvements in efficiencies and reduce the cost to manufacture and operate electric school buses. While electric vehicles are one option, hydrogen fuel cell technology is quickly developing into what could be another viable alternative to electric buses. At present, however, industry trends suggest that electric school buses will continue to be the predominant means of non-fossil fuel propulsion. Your Committees further find that three-point passenger safety restraints on school bus vehicles are quickly becoming a much more affordable option in the school bus manufacturing industry. Although three-point passenger safety restraints have not yet become standard equipment, your Committees are hopeful that it will continue to become a more commonplace safety feature in school bus design in the future.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Amending the date by which all school bus contracts shall require all contractor's vehicles to comply with the provisions of this measure from January 1, 2030, to July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Requiring the Department of Education to report to the Legislature on potential costs, industry and technology trends, practical experiences of local stakeholders, and other matters that may affect the implementation of this measure.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Transportation that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2325, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2325, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Education and Transportation,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair