LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – State Rep. Kelly Flood filed a bill Thursday that would add 3 cents to the state’s gas tax to provide more money for school buses days after Gov. Matt Bevin unveiled a budget that slashed the state’s share of transportation expenses for public school districts.

Flood, D-Lexington, said House Bill 211 is expected to generate $90 million each year. Under her plan, $30 million would be dedicated to bonds for new buses, and $60 million would supplement the state’s share of school districts' transportation budgets.

She said the legislation, if passed, “will make sure that a portion of what we all pay for our highways goes toward getting our students safely to and from school.”

More than 1,700 of the state’s 9,822 school buses were at least 15 years old in 2016, she added.

Bevin’s budget proposal, released Tuesday, calls for a $138.6 million cut for the state’s portion of school transportation expenses in each year of the biennium, a 61.4 percent drop from the current $225.5 million amount.

Flood criticized the governor’s spending plan, calling it “a step backward because it interferes with our long-held commitment to help kids attend public schools.”

“Too many districts are already struggling and simply do not have money in contingency funds to make up the difference,” she said in a statement.

“We are already seeing the disparity between the richest and poorest districts reach a level we had before 1990’s education reforms, and the governor’s budget would just accelerate that even further. That’s unacceptable.”

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Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and kwheatley@wdrb.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.

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