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The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), meeting at its annual conference in Boston, resoundingly defeated a resolution calling for the re-regulation of the rail industry. The re-regulation proposal was overwhelmingly defeated by the full body.
The NCSL is a bipartisan group comprised of legislators from all the states. Each year, the NCSL meeting attracts thousands of state legislative officials from all over the country. The reregulation proposal originated in NCSL's Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Energy during a Spring Policy Forum. The resolution was subsequently defeated by the Transportation Committee. Oregon's Sen. Bruce Starr, chairman of the Transportation Committee, led the opposition to the resolution on the floor.
Speaking in opposition to the resolution, New Hampshire Rep. Sherman Packard said, "Legislation like this bill will kill railroad infrastructure investment." South Dakota Rep. Gordon Pederson noted, "Anyone who knows South Dakota, knows we should vote "no" on this resolution."
"The nation's rail industry is pleased that the National Conference of State Legislatures has demonstrated leadership and vision in resisting an attempt to turn back the clock on the impressive gains achieved since the passage of the Staggers Act in 1980," said Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads. "The rail industry is strong, competitive and thriving because Congress wisely chose to get out of the railroad business in 1980 by allowing railroads to operate like market-focused businesses."
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