Safe Routes to School bill advances in Senate

LIHU‘E — The Safe Routes to School bill crossed over from the House to the Senate March 8. On Friday the Senate Transportation and Education committees recommended passage of the bill, with amendments.

“Woohoo, we are happy campers here at Get Fit Kaua‘i,” said Bev Brody, Get Fit Kaua‘i coordinator, as soon as she heard the news.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee should be the next to hear House Bill 2626. If the bill advances further it will eventually make it back to its originating body, the House of Representatives for more massaging.

HB 2626 proposes a surcharge on traffic tickets to be used to fund an islandwide Safe Routes to School program, which promotes children to walk and bike to school safely.

The program is currently funded by the state Health Department’s Healthy Hawai‘i Initiative, through a tobacco settlement fund, but the funding is going to run out at some point, said Brody, adding that this funding will eventually run out.

If the bill passes, it would provide a sustainable fund to the program, ensuring its continuation, she said.

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