Friday, May 15, 2009

House approves $6.4 billion, Chandler bill for green schools

This from H-L:

WASHINGTON -- The House on Thursday passed a multiyear school construction bill with the ambitious goals of producing hundreds of thousands of jobs, reducing energy consumption and creating healthier, cleaner environments for the nation's schoolchildren.

Opponents, almost all Republicans, objected to the cost associated with the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act. The cost would be $6.4 billion in the first year with similar outlays approved over the next five years.

It passed 275-155, and now goes to the Senate, which did not act after the House passed similar legislation last year.

The situation has changed this year. While then-President George W. Bush threatened to veto the measure, objecting to a costly new school construction program, President Barack Obama made school improvement projects an element of his economic stimulus initiative.

"It will give much needed money to our schools struggling with huge budget deficits and deteriorating facilities while encouraging energy efficency and creating jobs for Americans that cannot be shipped overseas," said Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., sponsor of the legislation...

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