WASHINGTON — Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) introduced legislation Tuesday that seeks to upgrade infrastructure and reduce emissions at public schools.
Her bill, the Renew America’s Schools Act, would create a federal grant program through the U.S. Department of Energy to provide $100 million annually for five years for energy efficiency improvements at K-12 schools.
Eligible programs would include things like lighting upgrades, the installation of renewable energy technologies to power school systems and the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.
The legislation would take advantage of “the new smart technology that is out there to focus on renewable energy and green energy to reduce our carbon footprint,” Cortez Masto told the Nevada Current in an interview.
Her co-sponsors include Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) introduced companion legislation in the House.
Cortez Masto said she hopes to rally the support of Senate Republicans. “It’s not a partisan issue,” she said. “This benefits schools across the country, whether it’s a red or blue state.”
The Las Vegas native noted that she’s a product of Nevada’s public school system. “There is no greater investment we can make than providing more funding to our schools in Nevada, and throughout the country,” she said.