After gaining final legislative approval on June 4, legislation that would eliminate tenure for future school bus drivers was signed into effect on Tuesday by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
State Sen. Conrad Appel, who introduced the bill, said Louisiana is the only state that gives school bus drivers tenure, a form of job protection. The ban would not affect school bus drivers who already have tenure. But, the bill would prevent school bus drivers who start work on or after July 1, 2012 from becoming regular and permanent employees. To become school bus drivers, motorists at least 21 years old must receive proper training and pass a physical examination.
A compromise version of House Bill 293 won Louisiana House approval 67-30 without debate, and the state Senate quickly approved it on a vote of 20-15.
Sen. J. P. Morrell presented an amendment to allow a driver who owns his bus to receive tenure after seven consecutive years of employment as a school bus driver. Morrell said he wanted to protect drivers who do a fantastic job since they are small business owners. Appel objected to the change, but the Senate voted 20-17 in favor of it.