AUSTIN -- Texas Education Agency budget cuts are slashing the amount of money set aside for equipping new school buses with seat belts.

It's a law that legislators and Gov. Rick Perry approved with fanfare four years ago. Now only $3.6 million of $10 million allotted for the program is slated to be used, and bureaucratic snags could delay distribution of that money. It was supposed to be available to reimburse schools districts in the coming fiscal year.

The law requires three-point shoulder belts for new buses starting this September.

Sen. Eddie Lucio, a Democrat from Brownsville who pushed the legislation, called attention to the topic Tuesday. He contends cuts should come from other areas, not school bus safety.

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