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Proposed state budget includes $150 million for electric school buses

The money could help replace approximately 800 diesel buses across the state.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis' proposed Colorado budget includes $150 million to start getting rid of diesel school buses and replace them with electric ones.

The proposed budget also includes a total of $424 million in one-time spending for initiatives to advance clean energy and air.

RELATED: Polis talks about priorities for proposed state budget

"The air quality would be significantly better," East High School junior Mariah Rosensweig said.

She can already imagine what it would be like to have electric buses outside her school.

"I wouldn't be holding my breath as I go by the buses every morning and afternoon after school," she said. "This is a step in the right direction. This is what students want. We want a clean future to live in."

According to the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, the governor proposed $150 million, which could replace about 800 diesel school buses with electric buses across the state.

"I like seeing that it's happening, but we really have to do more," parent advocate Deronn Turner said.

Turner said children in some communities suffer more from asthma and upper-respiratory diseases because of poor air quality.

"When children are riding these buses, what people don't understand, it also creates brain fog because they're getting those air pollutants inside the bus when they're riding it," she said.

Green Latinos Colorado is one of many organizations that supports this proposed budget. 

Juan Roberto Madrid said they want to see the initial set of electric buses in communities of color that can also be areas of high congestion and commercial activity, like northwest Denver, Commerce City and Greeley. 

"By converting to these electric school buses, we help to reduce the amount of emissions that are coming out, and so everybody gets to breathe cleaner, fresher air," he said.

RELATED: Colorado resort towns begin testing electric shuttles

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