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New England Legislative Board Chairman Dan Cadogan

The BLET is proud to announce the formation of the New England Legislative Board (NELB). It was established earlier this year to acknowledge the regionalization and expansion of the former Massachusetts State Legislative Board.

“The Massachusetts State Legislative Board had a history of blurred geographical lines in New England since its inception,” said NELB Chairman Dan Cadogan. “For a multitude of reasons — such as interstate freight, Amtrak’s Downeaster, commuter rail expansion in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, CT Rail, rail safety legislation, and of course politics — our legislative work has almost always impacted our neighboring states.”

Under the “Joint State Legislative Board” statute in the BLET Bylaws (Section 9, Paragraph B), BLET Division 72 (Waterville, Maine) recently voted to affiliate with the Massachusetts State Legislative Board. In the interest of inclusion, the Board changed its name to New England Legislative Board. Brother Cadogan said Divisions in other nearby states are also considering a merger.

The NELB has hit the ground running, submitting five new pieces of rail safety legislation in addition to the 12 already filed in Massachusetts prior to the merger. The subjects addressed in these 17 pieces of legislation include sick leave, two-person crews, hot box detectors, rail worker anonymity in police reports after a trespasser strike, employee assaults, and van transportation guidelines. Cadogan said a collection of these bills will be filed in additional states around New England as the new sessions begin.

Brother Cadogan thanked Jennifer Berigan and Patrick Crowley of the Connecticut and Rhode Island AFL-CIOs, respectively, who were instrumental in filings in those states. He also thanked Division 72 Local Chairman Jarod Briggs and recognized the Massachusetts State Legislative Board Chairmen who came before him: John Tolman (founder), George Newman, Dan Lauzon, Tom Hebert, and Kevin Moore.