Legislation proposes school districts use sinking funds to purchase electric school buses and related infrastructure upgrades

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 1, 2022 — Today, Michigan legislators introduced House Bill 5721 and Senate Bill 859 which would allow school districts to purchase and make infrastructure upgrades related to electric vehicle (EV) school buses. 

“It is abundantly clear that the time to take action on climate change is now,” said state Rep. Christine Morse (D-Texas Township). “Electric vehicles are not just the future of eco-friendly transportation but the present as well. By allowing school districts to use the sinking fund tax and invest in purchasing and upgrading their infrastructure with electric school buses, we can create long-term savings for schools, decrease our carbon footprint, and reduce air and noise pollution in our communities.”

“Michigan is the birthplace of the auto industry, and as our state leads the way towards the future of transportation, electric school buses are a critical piece of that path,” said state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak). “Our state budget has already invested in the infrastructure needed to place more charging stations in our local communities. The next logical step is to allow school districts to use sinking funds to update their school buses to the new, greener alternative – ensuring our schools to their part to reduce carbon emissions while drastically improving the air quality around our kids.” 

“Here in Michigan, we are proudly working to offer a blueprint for the rest of the nation on how to optimize mobility and electrification to improve transportation options for people across all corners of the state,” said Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer for the state of Michigan. “Through innovative policy solutions like these, we can position Michigan at the forefront of an increasingly electrified mobility future that is more sustainable and accessible for all.”

While the bills allow for purchasing and creating the necessary infrastructure to support electric school buses, they do not allow for the sinking funds to be used for school bus drivers’ compensation.