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Stan Blake

Bob Geha: Two-Person Train Crew Bill Clears House

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By Bob Geha, Cowboy State Daily

A bill that would require that the crews on trains crossing Wyoming consist of at least two people has won final approval from Wyoming’s House.

Representatives voted 37-22 on Thursday to approve House Bill 79 in its third and final House reading, sending the bill to the Senate for its review.

The bill would require that all train crews in Wyoming consist of at least two people. It would also forbid railroads from proposing 1-person crews in their contract negotiations with unions.

Bill sponsor Rep. Stan Blake, D-Green River, said 2-person crews are a necessary safety measures on trains.

“When trains roll through Laramie at 50 mph, Rock Springs, they don’t stop, Evanston, they don’t stop,” he said. “Three-mile trains hauling unbelievable hazardous material … It’s scary what’s rolling through our towns.”

The measure was approved despite objections from some representative who said the state should not be getting involved with the operation of private businesses.

“I don’t think it’s government’s role to tell them what to do,” said Rep Bunky Loucks, R-Casper.

Firearms in Private Vehicle Bill Passes Moves Forward

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By Bob Geha, Cowboy State Daily

A bill that would let workers carry firearms in their vehicles onto the property of their employers is headed for the House floor.

The House Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee last week approved by a vote of 6-3 House Bill 78 for House debate.

The bill would prohibit employers from making rules to ban weapons in private vehicles on their property. A weapon would have to be out of sight inside a locked vehicle.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Stan Blake, D-Green River, said the bill addresses concerns over the right to carry weapons.

“I had some constituents of mine work at the trona mines,” he said. “They drive out there, 20 miles out of Green River or 40 or 50 miles out of Lyman and tehy’re told you cannot bring your firearm and leave it in your firearm and leave it in yuor car while you’re parked in your employer’s parking lot. I think we have the right to do that.”

The bill would allow schools, colleges, churches and government entities to put policies in place banning firearms from their properties.

The bill is awaiting its first review by the full House. The review must be completed by Tuesday for the bill to move ahead in the legislative process.

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