Posts Tagged ‘Stu Gardner’

Ohio rail safety bill scheduled for hearing; testimony needed

State Legislative Director Stu Gardner reports that proponent testimony has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019,  in House Hearing Room 114 in the Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square in Columbus, regarding H.B. 186, a comprehensive railroad safety bill under consideration in the state’s House of Representatives.

“This is the SMART TD and BLET members, friends and concerned citizens’ opportunity to let the House Transportation and Safety committee know and understand the reasons why HB 186 – a comprehensive railroad safety bill — is important to us and the communities that our trains pass through, and where those railroad yards are located throughout the state of Ohio,” Gardner said.

H.B. 186 covers the following safety issues:

  • Two-person freight train crews
  • Proper walkways in railroad yard safety legislation
  • Railroad yard lighting safety legislation
  • Blocked crossings

The bill is sponsored by Ohio Reps. Mike Sheehy, a retired rail worker and member of the SMART TD Alumni Association, and Brent Hillyer.

Proponent testimony must be provided to Matthew Taylor in Committee Chairman Doug Green’s office (Matthew.Taylor@ohiohouse.gov.)  with the deadline for electronic submission of both written and in-person testimony and witness slip being 3 p.m. Sept. 9, the Monday before the hearing. On the day of the hearing, witnesses have the option of presenting their testimony in person before the committee if they have submitted the testimony and required witness slip by the deadline.

Gardner said that he plans to be at the Statehouse at 9 a.m. the day of the hearing.

“My hope is we have a large turnout (even if you are not giving testimony) to demonstrate our solidarity on these important rail safety issues,” he said.

If the volume of testimony warrants, Gardner said that subsequent committee hearings could be scheduled for the legislation so that all witnesses are heard.

“Please advocate and give testimony in support of H.B. 186,” Gardner said. “Thank you for your support.”

Instructions for those wishing to testify before the committee:

Prior to committee:

  • The House Transportation and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday mornings at 11 a.m. in House Hearing Room 114 in the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
    • The committee notice typically goes out on Friday afternoon. The notice will confirm that H.B. 186 is up for a hearing and when and where the committee will convene.
    • The Ohio SLB will work with the chairman’s office and our policy team to get as much of an advanced notice as possible
  • Testimony is to be electronically submitted to the chairman’s office by 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.
  • A witness slip (fillable PDF) is to be completed prior to the committee meeting and should also be submitted electronically to the chairman’s office.
  • Testimony and the witness slip can be submitted at the same time and there is no need to send multiple emails.
  • Materials may be submitted to Matthew Taylor in Chairman Doug Green’s Office at (Matthew.Taylor@ohiohouse.gov.)

Day of committee:

  • When the committee notice is distributed, SLD Gardner will make sure to relay the information and will draw attention to any changes that have been made to the committee’s location and start time.
  • Folks may arrive any time before the committee hearing begins.
  • There is no need to check in with staff so long as testimony was submitted properly.
  • Attendees may take a seat in the audience.
  • As committee begins, the chairman will announce the hearing of bills. As testimony begins on H.B. 186, the chairman will call each individual up by the name submitted on the witness slip.
  • After testimony has been given, the individual may remain in the committee room for the duration of the hearing.

Instructions for those wishing to submit written-only testimony:

  • Written-only testimony is for those who may not be able to attend the committee hearing to testify in person, or for those who may want to attend committee but do not wish to verbally testify.

Written-only testimony:

  • Testimony is to be electronically submitted to the Chairman’s Office by 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, the day before the scheduled hearing.
  • The witness slip is to be completed prior to the committee hearing and should also be submitted electronically to the Chairman’s Office.
  • Testimony and the witness slip can be submitted at the same time, and there is no need to send multiple emails.
  • Materials may be submitted to Matthew Taylor in Chairman Doug Green’s Office at (Matthew.Taylor@ohiohouse.gov.)

Ohio SLB gives update on rail safety legislation

SMART TD’s Ohio State Legislative Board has given an update on H.B. 186 — a comprehensive rail safety bill that addresses two-person crews, safe walkways, rail yard lighting and blocked crossings — that was introduced to the Ohio House Transportation Committee on June 18.

Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner reports that the bill will be held over from the summer session to this fall where it will be given priority. Although the bill is static for now, Gardner asks Ohio members to offer proponent testimony as to why you believe the bill should be approved by the committee in preparation for this fall.

“Your testimony is what is needed to convince these committee members that this bill is what we have said all along it is – a common-sense approach to railroad safety,” Gardner said in an email to Ohio members.

Gardner suggests members write up testimony on all four segments of the bill or just on a specific segment. The four segments of the bill are:

  1. Two-person freight train crews;
  2. Common-sense safe walkways within rail yards;
  3. Common-sense illumination of rail yards;
  4. Blocked crossings that obstruct and delay emergency vehicles

According to Gardner, there are two ways you can provide testimony to the committee. You may either do a written-only testimony or you may submit electronic written testimony prior to testifying before the committee at the next hearing. The House Transportation and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday mornings at 11 a.m. in House Hearing Room 114 in the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus unless otherwise notified. Below are instructions from Gardner for submitting your testimony in either fashion.

Instructions for those wishing to testify before the committee:

Prior to committee:

  • The House Transportation and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday mornings at 11 a.m. in House Hearing Room 114 in the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
    • The committee notice typically goes out on Friday afternoon. The notice will confirm that H.B. 186 is up for a hearing and when and where the committee will convene.
    • The Ohio SLB will work with the chairman’s office and our policy team to get as much of an advanced notice as possible
  • Testimony is to be electronically submitted to the chairman’s office by 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.
  • A witness slip (fillable PDF) is to be completed prior to the committee meeting and should also be submitted electronically to the chairman’s office.
  • Testimony and the witness slip can be submitted at the same time and there is no need to send multiple emails.
  • Materials may be submitted to Matthew Taylor in Chairman Doug Green’s Office at Taylor@ohiohouse.gov.

Day of committee:

  • When the committee notice is distributed, SLD Gardner will make sure to relay the information and will draw attention to any changes that have been made to the committee’s location and start time.
  • Folks may arrive any time before the committee hearing begins.
  • There is no need to check in with staff so long as testimony was submitted properly.
  • Attendees may take a seat in the audience.
  • As committee begins, the chairman will announce the hearing of bills. As testimony begins on H.B. 186, the chairman will call each individual up by the name submitted on the witness slip.
  • After testimony has been given, the individual may remain in the committee room for the duration of the hearing.

Instructions for those wishing to submit written-only testimony:

  • Written-only testimony is for those who may not be able to attend the committee hearing to testify in person, or for those who may want to attend committee but do not wish to verbally testify.

Written-only testimony:

  • Testimony is to be electronically submitted to the Chairman’s Office by 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, the day before the scheduled hearing.
  • The witness slip is to be completed prior to the committee hearing and should also be submitted electronically to the Chairman’s Office.
  • Testimony and the witness slip can be submitted at the same time, and there is no need to send multiple emails.
  • Materials may be submitted to Matthew Taylor in Chairman Doug Green’s Office at Taylor@ohiohouse.gov.

Ohio SLB explains on ‘The Union Edge: Labor’s Talk Radio’ why Right-to-Work is Wrong

Stuart Gardner, SMART TD Ohio State Legislative Director

Ralph Leichliter, SMART TD Ohio Assistant State Legislative Director

The SMART TD Ohio State Legislative Board’s Director Stuart Gardner and Assistant Director Ralph Leichliter went on The Union Edge: Labor’s Talk Radio to explain to listeners why Right-to-Work is Wrong not just for Ohioans, but for all working families.

Click here to listen to a podcast of the interview.

If you live in Ohio, click here for the Ohio State Legislative Board’s website.

Click here to tell your representatives that Right-to-Work is Wrong via our Legislative Action Center.

SLB calls Ohioans to action on two-person crew bill

two-person_crewSMART TD Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner is calling members to action in response to the introduction of Senate Bill 229 (SB 229), the two-person crew bill introduced in the Ohio senate Oct. 14. The bill has been referred by the senate to the Public Utilities Committee.

“The call to action is this: I am requesting that every member in Ohio contact the Senators of the Public Utilities Committee and urge them to support SB 229,” Gardner said. “Email and call your state senator and tell them you want them to support SB 229 for the safety of our members and the general public that reside near the railroad tracks.

“Your message should be short and concise and to the point. We want them to understand that this is an important safety issue to you, your family and the public.

“I want you to understand that this is the first step. We want SB 229 to pass through this committee with a majority of votes. If SB 229 doesn’t get the majority of the votes in committee, it will die then and there.”

Click here to find your district.

Click here to find your Ohio senators and representatives.

Click here for a sample email that you can send to your senator.

Click on these links for documents to attach to your email:

Below are the members of the Public Utilities Committee and their contact information.

Senator Phone # Email Address Alt. Email Address

Cliff Hite
(R – Dist. 1)

614-466-8150 hite@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_01@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Ruby Marcum ruby.marcum@ohiosenate.gov
Kevin Bacon
(R – Dist. 3)
614-466-8064 sd03@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_03@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Caryl Philips caryl.philips@ohiosenate.gov
Bill Seitz
(R – Dist. 8)
614-466-8068 sd08@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_08@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Amanda Connell amanda.connell@ohiosenate.gov
Joseph Uecker
(R – Dist. 14)
614-466-8082 uecker@ohiosenate.com Senate_District_14@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Lindsay Riley  lindsay.riley@ohiosenate.gov
Bob Peterson
(R – Dist. 17)
614-466-8156 peterson@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_17@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Lucas Houghton lucas.houghton@ohiosenate.gov
John Eklund
(R – Dist. 18)
614-644-7718 Eklund@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_18@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Elizabeth Lust elizabeth.lust@ohiosenate.gov
Troy Balderson
(R – Dist. 20)
614-446-8076 balderson@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_20@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Sarah Huffman sarah.huffman@ohiosenate.gov
Sandra Williams
(D – Dist. 21)
614-466-4857 williams@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_21@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Brook Felts brook.felts@ohiosenate.gov
Tom Patton
(R – Dist. 24)
614-466-8056 patton@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District24@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Charles Trefny ctrefny@ohiosenate.gov
Tom Sawyer
(D – Dist. 28)
614-466-7041 tomsawyer@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_28@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Cindy Peters cindy.peters@ohiosenate.gov
Lou Gentile
(D – Dist. 30)
614-466-6508 sd30@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_30@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Maria Haberman steven.blalock@ohiosenate.gov

Local 378 hosts "call to action" labor rally

With the assistance of SMART Transportation Division Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner, Transportation Division Local 378 at Cleveland held a “call to action” labor rally Oct. 20 at Sheet Metal Division Local 33’s union hall and training center in Parma, Ohio.

With a turnout of approximately 45 members and Transportation Division office staff, Gardner opened the rally by reminding all that the upcoming election was about “voting their paychecks.”

“Ordinary Americans need to stand up and say enough! Enough against the excessive, great moneyed interests and power-brokers that currently wield enormous power in our country with the help of the politicians in government that big money supports,” Gardner said. “It is time that we take that stand and start getting out the vote by encouraging your families, co-workers and friends to vote, vote early, vote absentee or vote on election day.”

Gardner also cautioned those in attendance that right-to-work legislation is not dead in Ohio, despite S.B. 5 having been voted down by Ohioans by a 62-38 percent margin in 2012.

“Remember that S.B. 5 was just a few short years ago, and that labor and a vast majority of Ohio’s citizens rallied to defeat that bill in a referendum vote,” Gardner said. “Don’t be fooled into thinking that right-to-work is a dead issue in this state. It is not. H.B. 151 and H.B. 152 are currently waiting for a committee hearing and the lame duck session of the legislature to move forward this year.”

H.B. 151 would “prohibit any requirement that employees of private employers join or pay dues to any employee organization and to establish civil and criminal penalties against employers who violate that prohibition.”

H.B. 152 would “remove any requirement under the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Law that public employees join or pay dues to any employee organization and to prohibit public employers from requiring public employees to join or pay dues to any employee organization.”

The rally featured a number of political candidates who introduced themselves to the membership and asked for their support and their votes on Election Day.

“Listen to our guest speakers and candidates telling you their reasons for running for office. What is important to them should be important to you and your families,” Gardner said.

The first candidate to speak was Ohio State Rep. Connie Pillich, who is seeking the office of state treasurer in a race against incumbent Josh Mandel. Mandel began establishing a U.S. Senate seat campaign just months after being elected in 2012, a campaign that fizzled quickly. Pillich pointed out that she has the experience and financial background to point Ohio in the right direction.

Other candidates at the rally included : Kenny Yuko, candidate for the 25th District of the Ohio Senate; Cleveland Councilman Martin Sweeney, candidate for House of Representatives District 14; Cleveland Heights Councilwoman Janine Boyd, candidate for House of Representatives District 9; Sen. Michael Skindell, candidate for Senate District 23; State Rep. Nickie Antonio, candidate for House of Representatives District 13; Rep. Nicholas Celebrezze, candidate for House of Representatives District 15, and Rep. John Patrick Carney, candidate for Ohio state auditor.

“After the rally, do some research and educate yourself about these candidates, and see why the Ohio State Legislative Board endorses and supports them,” Gardner finished.

DSC_0657_Connie Pillich & Gardner_web

Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner introduces State Rep. Connie Pillich, Democratic candidate for Ohio state treasurer. Cleveland City Councilman Martin Sweeney is seated at left.

 

DSC_0696_Carney, Celebrezze, Yuko, Antonio, Brandow, Gardner, Otten, Skindell_web

Pictured, from left, are Carney, Celebrezze, Yuko, Antonio, Local 378 President Jeffrey Brandow, Gardner, Assistant State Legislative Director David Otten and Skindell.