March 8, 2011

SPRINGFIELD (March 8)—A UTU-sponsored bill that would require privately owned crew vans to carry first-aid kits was approved unanimously yesterday by the Transportation Committee of the Illinois House.

H.B. 1573, introduced Feb. 15 by State Rep. Tom Holbrook (D-Bellville) could be sent to the House floor later this week for a vote.

However, it will do so under new sponsorship.

“Rep. Holbrook had a scheduling conflict that would have prevented him from presenting the bill today in committee,” said UTU Illinois Legislative Director Robert W. Guy. “State Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton), the Chairman of the Transportation Committee, has stepped in as the new chief sponsor.”

H.B. 1573 would require all vehicles operated by contract carriers to be equipped with a readily available first-aid kit containing the same articles already required on locomotives, trains and motor vehicles owned by railroad companies.

Guy said members should now reach out to their respective state representatives and ask them for a “yes” vote when the measure is called on the full House floor, which could be as early as Thursday, March 10.

“Even though the bill passed out of committee unanimously, it’s important to show legislators that our members are active and engaged in the political process,” he said.

“Please call your state representative today and ask that they support H.B. 1573,” he said. “It’s that easy.”

To find contact information for your state representative just visit the “Legislative Lookup” feature at The icon is located near the bottom of the left side of the screen. Or contact the Illinois Legislative Board at (312) 236-5353.

“Don’t be shy about calling your legislator and asking for their vote on this or any other issue,” Guy said. “Elected officials know that paying close attention to constituent concerns is essential to getting re-elected. They welcome your calls and want to know your position on the issues.

“Just be sure to keep your message brief,” Guy said. “Identify yourself as a UTU member and tell the person answering the phone you would appreciate the representative’s ‘yes’ vote on H.B. 1573. That’s all it takes to turn member activism into legislative action.”