Favors' mandatory school bus seat belt bill suffers major setback in House committee

A wrecker removes the school bus from the scene of a fatal crash on Talley Road.

NASHVILLE - Rep. JoAnne Favors' bill requiring seat belts on Tennessee school buses today was parked, perhaps for the year, "behind the budget" by a House panel today due to its estimated cost.

Finance Subcommittee Chairman Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, a co-sponsor of the bill brought following last year's deadly crash of a Hamilton County School bus, noted its costs would "increase expenditures pretty significantly."

Putting a bill that increases or cuts state expenditures "behind the budget" means that it's not in Gov. Bill Haslam's original budget nor in the supplemental budget amendment that the governor released Tuesday.

That amendment included various budgetary nods Haslam made to the General Assembly's priorities in order to get his spending bill passed. The annual spending plan is expected to come through House and Finance Committees next week.