Balking at ‘unfunded mandate,’ Utah House shoots down bill requiring seat belts on school buses

Utah lawmakers have shot down a bill to require school districts to phase in buses with seat belts.

Just as it did two years ago, the Utah House of Representatives on Tuesday voted down the school bus seat belt bill, the second attempt by Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, to end a practice he argues puts Utah’s schoolchildren at risk.

But a majority of Hall’s colleagues in the House balked at passing an unfunded mandate down on local school districts — and some still argued seat belts in some cases decrease safety for children on school buses.

“We don’t need a bill to do this,” argued Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan. “The local districts don’t need a bill to do this.”

The bill faltered with a 23-50 vote.