Progress on two-person crew bill in Washington state
The Washington State Legislative Board had some good news to report this week about its effort to get two-person crew legislation passed in the state.
“For six consecutive years, we have doggedly pursued passage of this critical public safety bill. Today, for the first time we advanced train crew size legislation to the floor of the full House for a vote,” Washington State Legislative Director Herb Krohn reported. “House Speaker Frank Chopp personally presided over the chamber for this historic vote.”
The bill, H.B. 1841, passed, 72-24 (with two excused absent members), on March 13, marking the first time the Washington House of Representatives has OK’d final passage of train crew size legislation, Krohn said.
The passage marks the halfway point of efforts to get the legislation passed in Washington state. It next needs passage in the state’s Senate before heading to the governor’s desk.
“This year, the carriers have waged the most aggressive campaign ever against all of our rail safety bills,” Krohn said. “We can expect they will turn the heat up even higher and expend even greater resources in opposition as the bill is considered by the state Senate.
“It will continue to require dogged persistence along with considerable efforts on our part to overcome the organized business coalition the railroad carriers have strung together in their quest to block us from moving crewing legislation across the finish line into state law.”