May 15, 2013

SPRINGFIELD (May 15)—House Bill 3255—the UTU-sponsored “parade bill” that would allow local public-safety authorities to bar parades and demonstrations from following a route that crosses active railroad tracks at grade—passed the Illinois Senate 57-0.

UTU Illinois Director Robert W. Guy said the bill now needs only the signature of Gov. Pat Quinn to become law.

“I want to thank all UTU members and members of their families who phoned their state senators and asked for a ‘Yes’ vote on H.B. 3255,” Guy said. “Your willingness to play a personal role in the legislative process helped pass the bill and helped build respect for our union among state lawmakers.

“I also want to thank our legislative sponsors Rep. Elaine Nekritz and Sen. Andy Manar for recognizing the potential dangers associated with public events around active railroad crossings,” Guy said. “Their leadership has helped raise awareness among local communities to these dangers and will hopefully lead to extra safety measures for any of these events in the future.”

The UTU’s campaign was inspired by the tragedy that occurred in Midland, Tex., last November when a Union Pacific freight train struck a parade float at a grade crossing, killing four veterans of the Iraq campaign.

“No railroad crew, or local community, should have to go through that ordeal again,” Guy said.