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Legislative Update

Bill allowing school board members to be volunteer bus drivers up for public hearing Tuesday

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

The Assembly Committee on Local Government will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 6 on a number of bills including one (Assembly Bill 233) that would allow school board members to serve as voluntary school bus drivers provided certain conditions are met (see below). The bill is an effort to provide more potential school bus drivers in an environment where many schools are facing driver shortages. The Senate companion bill (note: companion bills are identical versions introduced in the other house so they can make their way through the legislative process more quickly) was recommended for approval by the Senate education committee on a unanimous, bipartisan vote.
The WASB supports this bill.

Legislative Reference Bureau Analysis of AB 233:

Under current law, unless specifically allowed by a statute, the common law doctrine of incompatibility prohibits a person from holding two or more public positions when the duties of each position might conflict, or when one position might be seen as superior to the other. Currently, there is a statutory exception to the common law doctrine of incompatibility that allows a school board member to serve as a volunteer coach or extracurricular activity supervisor. This bill creates a similar statutory exception that allows a school board member to serve as a volunteer school bus driver.
Under the bill, an individual is allowed to serve as a school board member and a volunteer school bus driver at the same time if the school board member 1) has received a school bus endorsement from the Department of Transportation that authorizes the school board member to operate a school bus, 2) holds a valid commercial driver license, 3) does not receive compensation for serving as a volunteer school bus driver, and 4) agrees to abstain from voting on any issue that comes before the school board that substantially and directly concerns school bus drivers. The bill further specifies that reimbursement for expenses incurred in connection with providing volunteer services does not change a school board member’s status as a volunteer coach, supervisor, or school bus driver, including, in the case of a volunteer school bus driver, reimbursement for the costs of training for or renewing a required license or endorsement.
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