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Two-person crew bill introduced in Ohio House

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, April 15 — A comprehensive railroad safety bill that would require two employees to work on freight trains was introduced in the State of Ohio’s House of Representatives in early April.

“The Ohio State Legislative Board has been working diligently on railroad safety legislation in Ohio, and would like to make our membership aware of House Bill 186, which was introduced on April 4, 2019,” said Tim Price, Ohio State Legislative Board Chairman. “H.B. 186 addresses several concerns shared by the BLET and other operating craft unions, including minimum crew requirements, blocked public rail crossings, yard lighting, and yard walking conditions. This piece of legislation is critical for the safety of not only train and engine employees, but also the general public.”

Brother Price said the bill has bipartisan support and that it was introduced by State Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-46) and Brett Hillyer (R-98).

The bill has 22 co-sponsors, and was referred to the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee for discussion on April 11.

Brother Price is encouraging Ohio BLET members, BLET Auxiliary members, and their families to reach out to their representatives (particularly to members of the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee) to voice their support of the bill. “House Bill 186 is an example of common-sense safety legislation,” Price said. “The biggest hurdle we have is awareness — once representatives understand how this impacts the safety of their communities, they have been generally positive."

Chairman Price reminds members that communication from constituents remains the most effective tool we have in our legislative arm. “Reach out to your representatives — those who represent you at home, but also those who represent the areas you work. Since the bill has been referred to committee, we encourage members and their families to contact those representatives as well.”

A list of the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee members is listed below. The Ohio State Legislative Board is ready to support BLET members with information about HB 186, and members are encouraged to contact their Division Legislative Representative for more details.

Members are urged to call their own representatives and the members of the Transportation and Public Safety Committee, who are listed below.

Chairman – Doug Green (R – Dist. 66) – 614-644-6034
Vice Chair – Riordan McClain (R – Dist. 87) – 614-644-6265
Ranking Minority Member – Michael Sheehy (D – Dist. 46)* – 614-466-1418
Steven Arndt (R – Dist. 89) – 614-644-6011
Juanita Brent (D – Dist. 12) – 614-466-1408
James Hoops (R – Dist. 81) – 614-466-3760
Stephanie Howse (D – Dist. 11) – 614-466-1414
Michele Lepore-Hagan (D – Dist. 58)* – 614-466-9435
Don Jones (R – Dist. 95) – 614-644-8728
Susan Manchester (R – Dist. 84) – 614-466-6344
Gayle Manning (R – Dist. 55) – 614-644-5076
Jessica Miranda (D – Dist. 28)* – 614-466-8120
Michael O’Brien (D – Dist. 64)* – 614-466-5358
Tom Patton (R – Dist. 07) – 614-644-4895
Reggie Stoltzfus (R – Dist. 50) – 614-466-9078

* - these members of the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee are sponsors/cosponsors of HB 186.

Monday, April 15, 2019
bentley@ble-t.org

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