MADISON – State Representative Mike Bare (D-Verona) and Senator Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) applauded the bipartisan final passage of common sense legislation to address pupil transportation challenges through the full Legislature today. Assembly Bill 233, which would allow school board members who seek to volunteer to serve as school bus drivers in their district, was approved by the State Senate today.

“I was pleased to join my colleagues in the State Assembly in unanimously approving Assembly Bill 233, and happy to see it approved by the Senate today,” Rep. Bare said. “I’d like to thank Rep. Kitchens and Rep. Johnson, a former school bus driver, for working across the aisle to pass this common-sense legislation that will help address school bus drive shortages in our state.”

Cheerfully referred to as the “Bob and Bill” bill in honor of two champions of the legislation – New Glarus School Board President Bill Oemichen and Middleton-Cross Plains Area School Board member Bob Hesselbein — the legislation would create an exception to current law that that generally prohibits members of school boards from serving in volunteer or paid positions in the districts they represent.  Current law allows board members to serve only as volunteer coaches. The legislation adopted today would allow board members to serve as volunteer school bus drivers if they obtain a commercial driver’s license and the required school bus designation.

“I am proud to see the Legislature come together in recognition of the challenges school districts – especially in smaller communities – face,” Sen. Hesselbein said. “I am happy this bill received strong bi-partisan support want to especially acknowledge Sen. Romaine Quinn, who knows well the challenges districts in his communities and around the state face, for stepping up to author the bill.”

With passage in the state Senate today, the bill has passed both houses of the Legislature and now moves on to Governor Tony Evers for final approval. 

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