SENATE BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 2638

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  JANUARY 5, 2018

 

      The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee reports favorably Senate Bill No. 2638.

      This bill requires school buses that provide transportation for students using wheelchairs to be equipped with a four-point securement system for each student using a wheelchair on the school bus. A four-point securement system is defined by the bill as a complete four-point system that includes four wheelchair restraints to secure a wheelchair to the vehicle floor; a lap and shoulder belt that integrates to the rear wheelchair restraints; and floor anchorages installed in the vehicle floor. Under the bill, students using wheelchairs are required to be secured using the four-point securement system at all times while the bus is in operation.

      The bill takes effect immediately upon enactment, but remains inoperative until the September 1 of the second year next following enactment.

      As reported, this bill is identical to Assembly Bill No. 1257 (2R), as also reported by the committee.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Office of Legislative Services estimates that the bill’s requirement that school buses, if used to transport students who a wheelchair, be equipped with a four-point securement system will not increase school districts’ expenditures.  This requirement mirrors federal requirements for school bus passenger seating and restraining barriers under current federal regulations at 49 C.F.R. s.571.222.