House Passes Bill To Promote ‘Green’ School Renovations

The House passed a bill Thursday to authorize billions of dollars for “green” school renovation and modernization projects.

The bill, which passed 275-155, would authorize $6.4 billion in fiscal 2010 for school construction projects and such funds as “necessary” through fiscal 2015. The bill would require that all funding by fiscal 2015 be used for projects that meet environmental friendliness standards.

“This bill in my view is a home run,” said Ben Chandler , D-Ky., who sponsored the measure. “It will give much-needed money to our schools struggling with huge budget deficits and deteriorating facilities while encouraging energy efficiency and creating jobs for Americans that cannot be shipped overseas.”

But most Republicans opposed the bill, contending that school construction has historically been a local responsibility.

“States and local communities, not federal bureaucrats, have the primary responsibility to set public policy over education,” said Howard P. “Buck” McKeon of California, the ranking Republican on the Education and Labor Committee. “Federal law should reflect that.”

To drive home their view, Republicans lined up behind an unsuccessful attempt by John Kline , R-Minn., to amend the title of the bill to bill to “ a bill to saddle future generations with billions in debt, and for other purposes.” The House rejected Kline’s amendment, 149-257. (CQ Politics)

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