Last week, your union put out a story discussing the 49 pieces of legislation that SMART was pushing in 17 states. As state legislatures are all hitting their stride in this year’s cycle around the country and focus on rail safety is as high as it has been in decades, these numbers are growing by the day.  

This week, we can report that the number of states we have bills in has reached 20, and the number of pieces of legislation we’re endorsing for passage has skyrocketed to 70 bills. 

These bills range from two-person crew (2PC) legislation, to train-length restrictions, to strengthening penalties on those who are convicted of assaulting bus drivers and commuter train employees to become felonies. All in all, it is safe to say that SMART Transportation Division members are getting a high return on investment out of their State Legislative Directors (SLDs) and National Legislative Department.  

Some of the bills are being advanced through state houses that haven’t seen a rail safety bill get past the committee level in decades. Momentum is with us and SMART-TD’s LRs and SLBs are seizing the moment.  

With 70 bills in front of 40% of our nation’s state legislative bodies, it is impossible to report on each bill’s individual progress every step of the way — that information is available on the Take Action page of the SMART website, but we will continue to compile weekly roundups of some of the highlights around the nation. If your state is mentioned, we ask that you follow the link to SMART-TD’s Legislative Action Center (LAC) and see how you can get involved in supporting your state’s bills. If your state is not on the list, please give our LAC a look anyway because there is a 40% chance that your state does have legislation in need of your support, even if it wasn’t mentioned in the article.  

Utah HB 63SLD Dan Brewer’s bill establishes the Office of Rail Safety in the state to regulate and inspect all aspects of rail safety and will be funded by the rail carriers who operate in Utah rather than taxpayers. HB 63 passed through both the House of Representatives and the State Senate and is pending a signature from the governor! 

Missouri SB 702SLD Jason Hayden’s train length bill limiting trains to 8,500 feet has been assigned to the Missouri Senate Transportation Committee. 

West Virginia HB 3059SLD Bryan Goodson’s blocked crossings bill made it out of the state House and has been sent to the Senate. 

Oklahoma SB 257SLD Kyle Pense’s 2PC bill has been assigned to the transportation and infrastructure committee in the Senate. 

Arizona HB 2526SLD Scott Jones’ bill to mandate heightened oversight and inspection of rail and equipment is ready to go in the House of Representatives.  

William “Larry” Foster, a SMART Transportation Division Alumni Association member and retiree from Local 226 (Moberly, Mo.) who proudly served our union as Missouri’s state legislative director for the better part of two decades, passed away May 4 at his home. He was 80.


Foster began as state legislative director in April 1992 and was re-elected to multiple terms leading the state legislative board until his retirement in 2008. He also worked as a conductor for Norfolk Southern.

“Larry was the one early on in my railroad career that got me interested in our legislative department and helped guide me as a new legislative representative and executive board member until his retirement in 2008,” said current Missouri State Legislative Director Jason Hayden (Local 1405, St. Louis, Mo.). “His legacy and imprint on this board will never be forgotten, and he will be dearly missed.”

A U.S. Army veteran, having served from 1959-68, Brother Foster was a member of the Moberly Masonic Lodge and the Sweet Springs Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Linda; daughters Lori Barrier (Ronnie) and Toni Stock, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A visitation is planned 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Cater Funeral Home Chapel, 1520 E. Rollins, Moberly, MO 65270. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at Cater Funeral Home Chapel with burial following in Memorial Park Cemetery.

SMART Transportation Division offers its condolences to Brother Foster’s family, friends and the union brothers and sisters in Missouri who mourn his passing.

Follow this link to view Foster’s official obituary and to leave condolences for the family.

The Missouri State Legislative Board is holding two more “Surviving Layoff” workshops as a result of the success of the last workshop held Jan. 29. “We are happy to announce that after the success and desire for this program to be made available to more members, we have been able to schedule two more furloughed rail worker workshops,” Missouri State Legislative Director Jason Hayden said. The workshop is open to all rail employees (furloughed and possibly going to be), and will be 1.5 – 2 hours long and includes a Q&A session. The next workshop will be held at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 2 Hall, 2902 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64129.  This workshop is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. The second workshop will be held at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 Hall, 2319 Chouteau Ave., Ste. 200, St. Louis, MO 63103 on Friday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m. RSVP is not required, but is appreciated so that the board can have enough materials for all in attendance. Please contact Hayden if you plan to attend. He may be reached by emailing or by calling 573-634-3303. “We are still working to try and schedule a couple more workshops in different areas of the state,” Hayden added.

The Missouri State Legislative Board is holding a “Surviving Layoff” workshop as a part of the Missouri AFL-CIO’s Dislocated Worker Program, Jan. 29, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.

The workshop will be held at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 2 Hall, 2902 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64129. The workshop is open to all rail employees (furloughed and possibly going to be), and will be 1.5 – 2 hours long and includes a Q&A session.

RSVP is not required, but is appreciated so that the board can have enough materials for all in attendance. Please contact Missouri State Legislative Director Jason Hayden if you plan to attend. He may be reached by emailing or by calling 573-634-3303.

Click here to view a flyer about this event.

missouri_mapState Legislative Director Ken Menges reports that the Missouri Legislative Board has a new website at
Members can now stay up to date on issues affecting their jobs as well as issues affecting Missouri locals.
Members can contact the board directly through the website, read their weblog and view an interactive calendar of events (including local meeting dates and times).
The page also features a section with links to Transportation Division and Sheet Metal Division local websites and general committee websites and other sites of interest.
“I would like to give special thanks to Assistant State Director and Local 1405 (St. Louis, Mo.) Legislative Rep. Jason Hayden and Local 933 (Jefferson City, Mo.) Legislative Rep. Edward “Thad” Krawczyk, who designed the new site,” Menges said. “It is very encouraging to see the younger members become leaders. We have a great future ahead of us.”


State Legislative Director Ken Menges of the Missouri Legislative Board reports that the 2014 Missouri legislative session has come to an end. The session saw several bills that had the potential to affect both SMART Transportation Division and Sheet Metal Division members in the state, one of which was House of Representatives’ Bill 1770, that would have introduced right-to-work legislation to the state.

H.B. 1770 passed in the state’s House, but failed to get the required constitutional majority needed to be sent to the Senate for passage. Click here to see how members of the House of Representatives voted on H.B. 1770. Similarly, House Bill 1617 – a bill introducing pay check deception – also passed in the House but met its demise when State Sens. Gina Walsh (D-Dist. 13) and Scott Sifton (D-Dist. 1) led a filibuster against the bill.

In expectation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations on coal-fired power plants, the legislative board supported H.B. 1631, a bill introducing legislation to develop emission standards in the state through a unit-by-unit analysis of each existing affected source of carbon dioxide by the Air Conservation Commission. Dave Zimmerman – third vice president of SMART SMD and president of Local 26 – is a member of the Air Conservation Commission.

“During the session, we were approached by Rep. Todd Richardson and former Senate Pro Tem Mike Gibbons (one of our avid Amtrak supporters when he was in the Senate and now a lobbyist for Peabody Coal) to testify in support of H.B. 1631,” Menges said. “With the help of Alternate National Legislative Director John Risch, the Missouri State Legislative Board testified at both the House and Senate hearings for this bill. The bill passed in the Senate with a 23-7 vote and in the House with a 129-14 vote.

“This bill is not high on Gov. Jay Nixon’s list, but with the great bipartisan support we were able to receive, the governor has told us he will take a good look at the bill.”

The board also supported H.B. 1707, which specifies that crew members operating a train, including operations at railroad crossings, are not required to present or display a driver’s license to any law enforcement officer in connection with the operation of a train in the state. The bill was passed on the final day of the legislative session, Menges reports, and has been sent to Gov. Nixon’s desk for his signature.