Ige Signs Public Schools Heat Abatement Bill
Funds to start cooling down schools could be available as early as next week after Governor David Ige signed SB3126, also known as Act 47, into law Thursday.
The law allows for emergency appropriation of $100 million to fund equipment and installation costs for air conditioning, heat abatement measures, and related energy efficiency measures at public schools state-wide.
Responses to the signing can be read below:
“Cooling our schools has been my highest priority and we are thankful that our legislators got behind this initiative to make funds quickly available so the Department of Education can continue its work,” said Governor Ige. “Our students and teachers deserve safe and comfortable learning spaces so students can thrive. We will cool classrooms in energy-efficient ways, starting with the classrooms that need it most.”
“This is truly a great day for Hawai’i, particularly for the students and teachers, who will literally feel the benefits of this bill,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi. “The collaboration between the Senate and House resulted in a creative solution to fund the DOE program to cool our schools and we should all be proud of what is really an investment into our future.”
“It’s been a pleasure working with the governor, the House, and my colleagues. I think together, we were able to put out some excellent legislation to cool the schools,” said House Speaker Joe Souki. Doing it all at one time, I think has never been done before.”
“You rarely see this many of us gathered together. Bi-partisan, unity on one measure that we can all rally behind,” said Senate Ways and Means Chair Jill Tokuda. “I think this is definitely a win for every single one of us, every single community.”
“The heat and the temperatures in the classrooms really impacted student learning. And now that we’ve committed $100 million, which is a large amount, it really is up to the Department of Education and the administration to make it work,” said House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke.
“This means safety, most importantly for our students and for our teachers. It’s a great first step in getting the environment we need for both teachers and students,” said GiGi Jones, mother of four public school students.