Who opposes HB 1542, common-sense legislation that can help keep kids at school safe from hazardous substances transported by rail or stored nearby? Who opposes a bill that could save our children’s lives?
Witness slips make this answer crystal clear. Not surprisingly, HB 1542 met with opposition from the billionaire-producing chemical and rail industries.
Who cares more about their profits than our kids? Witness slip submissions consist of the American Chemistry Council, the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, the Illinois Railroad Association, BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and Norfolk Southern Corporation. Other opponents include the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and Illinois Realtors. Even the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (EMA), and perhaps more specifically – the McHenry County EMA – appear to have no interest in doing exactly what our tax dollars fund this agency to do, protect our most vulnerable citizens from an imminent safety threat!
Last chiming in are the Illinois State Association of Counties, McHenry County Government, and McHenry County Board Member Jeffrey Thorsen (term ending Dec. 2022), a man claiming 28 years’ experience in commercial/retail banking.
HB 1542 was assigned a final action deadline of April 8, 2022. Whether or not this bill makes its way to the House floor from the Energy & Environment Committee will be telling. Some of the names of representatives sitting on this House committee you may recognize. Vice-Chairperson is Lake County’s very own Rep. Dan Didech. Other familiar names include Representatives Joyce Mason, Bob Morgan, Sam Yingling, Robyn Gabel, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Anna Moeller, Michelle Mussman, Suzanne Ness, and Bill Sponsor (thank you!), Rep. Rita Mayfield. Eighteen democrats and 11 republicans sit on this 29-person, democrat-majority committee.
This bill should garner bipartisan support in both Houses to produce a veto-proof bill. Keeping kids safe and preparing for worst-case scenarios shouldn’t require a second thought – but we imagine it will. To remain elected, our lawmakers need support, particularly when they face opposition from two of the most lucrative industries in this nation.
Alliances will be transparent in this vote, and La Coalition Rail Safety Campaign members encourage supporters to let State Representatives know that although profits from those who oppose this legislation can fund campaigns and manipulate boards and agencies, the vote still ultimately remains in our hands. Please let your Representative know that you plan to use it.
Two more hearing dates have been scheduled for HB 1542 – HFA1, and we are asking for your support by signing witness slips for both of these new committee hearing dates that are listed below. Unfortunately, witness slips do not transfer between hearing dates.
A witness slip may be submitted for each member of your household. So, please share this information with family and friends – and post on social media!
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 9:00 AM
SIGN HERE: https://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/130219?committeeHearingId=19509&LegislationId=130219&LegislationDocumentId=176743
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 9:00 AM
SIGN HERE: https://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/130219?committeeHearingId=19527&LegislationId=130219&LegislationDocumentId=176743
HB 1542 – HFA 1 provides for the inclusion of school personnel in emergency response plans specific to the transport and storage of hazardous substances. You can read the full text for this legislation here:
To file a Witness Slip:
Firm/Business Or Agency: Self
Persons, groups firms represented in this appearance: Self
Record Of Appearance Only
X I Agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement.
Thank you for your support in helping keep our kids safe who attend schools where hazardous substances are stored and transported nearby.
– La Coalition, Rail Safety Campaign
Sierra Club – Woods & Wetlands Chapter