HARTFORD, Conn. — On Tuesday, a bill requiring the installation of seat belts on school buses was approved by the General Assembly's Transportation Committee.
Rep. Antonio Guerrera (D-Rocky Hill), co-chairman of the committee, authored the bill (H.B. 5033) and was pleased the committee approved a compromise version of the bill in a 29-7 vote. Similar bills have died in committee 23 times, the CT Mirror reported.
Rather than requiring installation on all school buses, as the original measure proposed, the compromise bill will require three-point lap-shoulder seat belts on all new school buses. In addition, the date belts must be installed has been pushed from January 2011 to January 2012.
Opponents in the committee objected to the cost of retrofitting the state's school buses and still voice concerns over costs falling to local municipalities. Whether the state will cover the added cost of equipping buses with seat belts has not been determined.
In January, a poll found that 73 percent of voters in the state approved of the seat belt bill. SBF reported on the results here.
The bill has been filed with the Legislative Commissioner's Office and will now move to the Office of Fiscal Analysis, which will add an estimate of the bill's cost. It will then be sent to each house of the legislature for a vote.