SMART Transportation Division Minnesota State Legislative Director Phillip Qualy reports that two-person crew legislation has passed in his state’s House of Representatives as part of H.F. 1555, an omnibus transportation bill, and that a push by members and retirees alike will be needed to get it through the state Senate to the governor.
The bill passed Monday, April 29, by a 74-52 party-line vote and now moves on to the Minnesota Senate’s Transportation Conference Committee. Section 93 of the bill contains a provision setting a minimum crew size for freight trains operating in the state. H.F. 1555 also contains other important rail safety provisions, including Section 90, which set forth the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s enforcement of state safety regulations and maintenance of way track equipment crossing protections.
“The outcome of that conference committee will most likely determine whether minimum train crew language is passed into law,” Qualy said.
Qualy said that the effort of every SMART TD member and retiree in Minnesota is necessary to pass this important legislation to keep the state’s communities safe. Members, retirees and their friends and family are encouraged to call or email their state senators to talk about the important public safety aspects and assistance to first responders that two-person crews provide on the state’s rails in the case of a railroad emergency. A list of key senators to be contacted appears below.
“We need all railroad workers standing together in support of this legislation,” he said. “We need our members at the capitol. Please make your calls and emails today.”
Members of the Minnesota State Senate who should be contacted include:
- Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R – Brainerd): 651-296-4875, Contact: www.senate.mn/members/member_email_form.php?member_id=1169
- Senate Transportation Chairman Scott Newman (R – Hutchinson): 651-296-4131, Email: email@example.com
- Senate Transportation Committee Vice Chairman John Jasinski (R – Faribault): 651-296-0284, Contact: https://www.senate.mn/members/member_email_form.php?member_id=1227
- Senate HF-1555 Conference Committee Member Dan Hall (R – Burnsville): 651-296-5975, Contact: https://www.senate.mn//members/member_email_form.php?member_id=1182
- Senate HF-1555 Transportation Committee Member Jason Rarick (R – Brook Park): 651-296-1508, Contact: https://www.senate.mn//members/member_email_form.php?member_id=1240
- Senate Public Safety/Judiciary Chairman Warren Limmer (R – Maple Grove): 651-296-2159, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senate Transportation Committee member David Senjem (R – Rochester): 651-296-3903, email: email@example.com
The original H.F. 286, a standalone bill that sets a minimum crew size, remains on the House floor.
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