South Carolina Lawmakers Override Governor’s Veto on School Bus Funding

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on January 17, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. — State lawmakers have voted to override the governor’s veto of $20.5 million in funding for hundreds of new school buses, The State reports.

The South Carolina Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to overturn the veto, and the House voted to override it last week, according to the newspaper.

The funds will help the state revamp its aging school bus fleet. As School Bus Fleet previously reported, more than 1,500 of the state’s 5,582 buses are more than 20 years old. Many school districts in the state have struggled with safety concerns because of aging buses, including bus fires earlier this month, in November, and in May.

Ryan Brown, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Education, told The State that new buses will be distributed across the state, and each school district will receive new buses by fall.

In June, Gov. Henry McMaster vetoed the funds, citing concerns over how state lottery money is used: He said that voters were promised that lottery money would be used for scholarships. However, the lottery law states that some of its profits can be used for school bus purchases and repairs, according to The State.

McMaster’s office told The Post and Courier in June that he is concerned about the state’s aging buses, but that taking surpluses from lottery proceeds is not the way to pay for them. The State reports that in McMaster’s 2018-19 executive budget proposal, he recommends doubling the money that the South Carolina Department of Education receives every year for new buses to $10 million. However, the department asked the state for $70 million more to replace old buses.

Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman said that the senators’ votes “could well save children’s lives,” but that he wished the funds hadn’t been vetoed and “would have been available six months ago,” according to the newspaper.

Related Topics: preventive maintenance, school bus replacement, South Carolina

Nicole Schlosser Executive Editor
Comments ( 2 )
  • Ken

     | about 13 months ago

    It is bad enough when a bus catches fire - it is even Worse when the information is not shared with districts operating the exact same bus. What make, model and year was the buses that caught fire? I want the children in my district SAFE

  • See all comments
More Stories
New technology can play a role in ehancing safety, and several items on display at the NAPT trade show were created to help prevent fatal school bus crashes. File photo

Tech Advancements Offer Hope Amid Student Tragedies

It is essential that the motorists who share the road with bus drivers stop for stopped school buses. However, it is encouraging to see how technology is evolving to help provide an even safer ride for all students.


New Transportation Technology Tools for 2019

Illuminated safety products, driver training solutions, a video surveillance system, and an artificial intelligence-powered stop arm are just some of the options to look for in the new year.

Toledo Public Schools transportation team members, shown here, worked together to identify and organize actionable data using a five-step process. Brad Aemisegger, director of transportation, is pictured far left in the top row.

5 Steps to Successful Data-Driven Decision-Making

Collaborating to identify actionable data, creating common access, and establishing a system to organize it are some of the steps Toledo (Ohio) Public Schools took to achieve more efficient decision-making.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!