Senn Bill for Electric School Buses Clears Ways & Means Committee 

OLYMPIA—Legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the school transportation system and better protect the health of Washington’s students was advanced out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee ahead of the fiscal committee cutoff yesterday. House Bill 1368, sponsored by Representative Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island), takes an important step toward environmental justice, a green transportation system, and cleaner air for kids and communities.  

An environmental priority for the House Democratic Caucus, House Bill 1368 requires the Department of Ecology to administer a zero-emission school bus grant program, with overburdened communities as the focus of the first wave of grants and thus the earliest benefits of embracing electric buses. If not before, school districts across the entire state must start the transition to a zero- emission fleet once the total cost of ownership of zero emission buses is less than or equal to that of diesel buses. The grants will cover the cost differential between a diesel and zero emission bus, the planning, acquisition and costs of related charging infrastructure costs, and the disposal of old buses—all with funds from the Climate Commitment Act.  

“We’re not just transforming our school transportation system; we’re championing environmental justice,” remarked Senn. “Prioritizing overburdened communities with early access to electric buses is part of our commitment to addressing environmental disparities. It’s a decisive leap toward cleaner air, healthier kids and environmental justice.”  

House Bill 1368 stands as a resolute commitment to environmental stewardship, promising a brighter and healthier future for kids and communities throughout the state.  

The bill now heads to the Senate Rules Committee to await a vote by the full chamber.