INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, March 3 — The New Mexico House of Representatives passed a two-person crew railroad safety bill earlier this month, thanks in part to cooperative efforts from the BLET’s New Mexico State Legislative Board and the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
According to Brother Clem Harris, Chairman of the BLET’s New Mexico State Legislative Board, House Bill 105 was introduced and has gained bipartisan support in every committee where it has been presented.
House Bill 105 started in the House Labor, Veterans’, and Military Aﬀairs Committee and was championed by the Committee Chairman, Representatives Eliseo Alcon and Patricia Royal Caballero. In the ﬁrst reading of the bill, it easily passed with a vote of 7 in favor to 2 against. On the second reading of the bill in the House Judiciary Committee, the bill ultimately passed on a vote of 5 to 1. On the third reading, the bill progressed oﬀ the House Floor. The bill received support on the ﬂoor from several Republicans. With that support, the bill progressed to the Senate on a vote of 43 in favor and 25 against. Currently, the bill is waiting to be heard in the Senate Tax, Business, and Transportation Committee.
“While it has been a long and tough road at times, we are seeing more gains on two person crew legislation this year than ever before,” said Ashley Long, President of the New Mexico Federation of Labor.
The strength of the Brotherhood has been seen in the participation of the Brothers and Sisters from Divisions 15, 192, 264, 400, 446, 592, 791, and 881. There is a unique dynamic where several Divisions go on duty in Texas, but spend the largest majority of their trip in New Mexico. These Brothers and Sisters have shown up and been heard in the various Committees to make sure their membership is appropriately represented in New Mexico.
“It’s amazing to see what happens when the Brotherhood comes together to make their voices heard,” President Long said.
The National Division thanks Brother Harris and all involved for their efforts to lobby and testify in support of the bill and to make the railroad industry a safer place. Additional information will be reported as the bill makes its way through the New Mexico State Senate.