SC budget plan would designate $12M for new buses

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - - The latest budget plan would allow the South Carolinas Education Department to replace decades-old school buses that carry disabled students.

The Senate has designated more than $12 million for new school buses in its $5.8 billion spending plan for the coming year. Senators voted to take the money from unclaimed lottery prizes.

Legislators have not set aside money for school buses since the 2007-08 budget.

The agency's transportation director says the state could buy about 140 buses with the $12.4 million. The agency would focus on replacing buses for special needs students, which require lifts and spaces for wheelchairs.

Don Tudor says all but a handful of the state's oldest buses from 1984 through 1987 carry disabled students.

The Senate's budget debate continues this week.

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