Environmental justice advocates rally for electric school bus funding in state budget
Environmental justice advocates rallied Thursday to call for Gov. Kathy Hochul to include funding in the state budget for electric school buses that they say could improve the health of countless people in the community.
The rally comes after Hochul pledged in her State of the State address for school buses across the state to go completely electric by 2035.
Those in the rally say that commitment falls short and fails to address how school districts will fund this transition. Students, elected officials and several organizations gathered to Hunts Point chanting with signs to make their voices heard.
The group is calling for Hochul to allocate $300 million for electric buses in the state budget. They're also demanding for those funds to be prioritized for school districts that have been historically underinvested.
Organizers say the electric buses would reduce emissions, improve air quality and improve the health of people in the communities.
The rally is a last push to get funding for electric school buses included in the state budget before it goes into effect in April.
Gov. Hochul's office released a statement on the matter:
"The Governor's plan includes transitioning 100% of New York State's roughly 50,000 school buses to electric by proposing legislation that all new school bus purchases after 2027 be zero-emission, which in turn will make all buses on the road electric by 2035, the Governor will work closely with all stakeholders and partners to achieve that goal."