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Abercrombie won't restore school bus service

By Mary Vorsino

LAST UPDATED: 8:59 p.m. HST, Jul 3, 2012

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he has no plans to step in to restore school bus service for nearly 2,400 students statewide, and called it irresponsible to suggest he do so.

“As governor I do not have unlimited authority to declare an emergency for any matter I choose,” Abercrombie wrote, in a letter Monday night to state Rep. K. Mark Takai (D, Newtown-Pearl City).

Takai had asked Abercrombie to use his “emergency powers” to address the cuts to student transportation.

Under a Department of Education plan for the coming school year, 103 routes serving 51 schools statewide will be affected by the reductions.

The route eliminations — along with route consolidations — will save about $5.5 million in the coming school year, the DOE said.

The cuts to student transportation will be discussed at a Board of Education meeting this afternoon.

Abercrombie said while he understands providing school bus service is an important issue, the question is whether it constitutes an emergency “at the level of a natural disaster.”

He pointed out that the Legislature knew the supplemental budget passed in the last session didn’t include enough money to ensure all bus service for general-education students would be retained.

Governor's response to Rep. Takai on school bus service Rep. Mark Takai's letter to the governor about Student Bus Service

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