HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie last week approved two bills that are expected to help the state more efficiently manage its student transportation system.

Abercrombie publicly signed the legislation at the Hawaii State Board of Education’s (BOE) July 2 meeting.

“These measures will help to control the escalating cost of student transportation,” Abercrombie said. “These laws were established with the cooperation of the BOE and DOE [Department of Education], which will provide more control for fiscal responsibility.”

The two approved bills are:

SB1082, which simplifies Section 302A-406, Hawaii Revised Statutes. The bill allows for more flexibility by the BOE and DOE regarding contract requirements. It will reportedly provide the DOE with a tool to control costs of school bus transportation by removing statutory requirements related to school bus procurement.

SB1083, which exempts school transportation contracts from Section 103-55, Hawaii Revised Statutes. Under the provisions of the bill, the DOE will not need to require school bus contractors to certify that they pay the same wages as public officers and employees. The bill also removes statutory requirements related to school bus procurement.

“The board is most appreciative of the support of the governor and Legislature,” BOE Chair Don Horner said. “These bills will provide the department with tools to more efficiently and effectively manage our rising transportation costs in order to sustain this vital service to our students.”

State Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said that the measures “help the department in its move to improve the efficiency and control the cost of [the] student bus transportation system.”