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House Democrats Call for Action to Ensure Ohio's Rail Safety Following East Palestine Disaster

February 16, 2023
Democratic Newsroom

COLUMBUS – Ohio House Democrats today sent a letter to the Ohio House Finance Committee and the Ohio House Transportation Subcommittee of Finance suggesting a series of amendments to the State Transportation Budget following the tragic events in East Palestine. The letter hopes to raise bipartisan support that will create lasting reforms to improve railway safety and instill public confidence.

“Railway safety legislation has earned bipartisan support in the past because it seeks to protect the public, railway workers, and the environment. Many of these proposed amendments are not new ideas; if there is ever a time to adopt them, it’s now,” said Rep. Sweeney, Ranking Member of the Ohio House Finance Committee. “Especially after this disaster, the citizens of Ohio should know that their representatives take their concerns very seriously and that we will act swiftly to enact reforms that reduce the likelihood of such a disaster from happening again.”

“The safe operation of freight and passenger trains is also vital to commerce, and we support efforts to keep train operations safe in the State of Ohio. It is imperative to ensure the safe movement of freight trains because freight trains transport time-sensitive commodities, including toxic and dangerous chemicals, through every region of Ohio,” said Rep. Skindell, Ranking Member of the Ohio House Finance Subcommittee on Transportation. “The manner in which railroad companies carry out operations has a profound impact on keeping our communities and railroad workers safe.”

The Ohio House Finance Committee is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday, February 21st and the biennial Transportation Budget must be passed by Friday, March 31st.