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ND House derails bill requiring two-person train crews

BISMARCK - House lawmakers narrowly defeated a bill Wednesday requiring two-person crews on all trains moving freight through North Dakota. House Bill 1357 failed by a vote of 46-45, not receiving the 48-vote majority required for bills to pass. ...

BISMARCK – House lawmakers narrowly defeated a bill Wednesday requiring two-person crews on all trains moving freight through North Dakota.

House Bill 1357 failed by a vote of 46-45, not receiving the 48-vote majority required for bills to pass. Three of the House’s 94 members were absent.

Introduced by Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, the bill would have imposed civil penalties ranging from $250 to $10,000 on railroads that violated the requirement.

Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, carried the bill in the House Transportation Committee, which gave it a 7-6 do-not-pass recommendation. He said testimony in favor of the bill was largely from unions who felt it would be safer, while railroads opposed to the bill argued it was an inflexible mandate and that the issue is under review by the Federal Railroad Administration.

“Really this is an issue that is under contention between the unions and the railroads,” he said at the start of Wednesday’s lengthy debate.

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