[Ok-sus] Urgent support for RAIL legislation needed
gtelmore at aol.com
Fri Mar 8 19:22:55 UTC 2013
Don't know your legislators or how to contact them?
A note from friend and colleague Tom Verdel in Tulsa. I would urge everybody to write and call your your state legislators immediately. This may come to a vote in the state House of Representatives as soon as Monday.
Tel: 405 794 7163
gtelmore at aol.com
Representative Charlie Joyner
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Rm 436
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4885
Charlie.joyner at okhouse.gov
From: Charlie Joyner
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 4:23 PM
To: Joey Magana
As the previous House Vice-Chair of Transportation and presently the House Chair of the Transportation Committee, I have been very involved on issues concerning our Rail industry in Oklahoma. This email is to advise you of the two railroad bills I have authored with Speaker T.W. Shannon as co-author and Senator Mike Schultz as the Senate Principal Author.
HB 2187 establishes the ‘right of first refusal’ on the sale of any rail property owned by the Department of Transportation and being leased or operated by a private entity. This bill if enacted would protect railroad companies that invest millions of dollars in the lines they presently lease, as well as their shippers who have chosen to locate along those lines; shippers who count on the railroads as part of their supply chain and their distribution network. SB584 is a similar bill that I am supporting as the House Author. This is the correct thing to do when dealing with companies doing business with the state of Oklahoma.
HB2180 would remove the Rails Division from ODOT and create the Oklahoma Railways Commission whose Commissioners, appointed by the Governor, would be rail experienced and knowledgeable. This act will not grow government but instead makes government smarter and more focused. Oklahoma is seventh in the nation in total tonnage, equaling 882-million tons per year shipped by rail into, from, or through Oklahoma and projections are for it to increase by 88% by 2030. There is also a huge interest in developing and expanding passenger and commuter rail in Oklahoma. I feel it is vital Oklahoma takes these steps looking to its future economic development and recognizing the success of the Space and Aeronautics Commission who was similarly established.
Attached are HB2187 and HB2180 for your review. I ask for your support in my effort at strengthening the rail industry in Oklahoma. Please contact your senators, representatives, and Governor immediately, asking for interest and passage of these bills as they are moving through the Legislative process.
Thank you for your consideration,
If you know anyone (including yourself) who might want to voice some support for these bills now is the time. May be up for a floor vote next Monday!!!! The addressees on my e-mail are the ones who have the most at stake. If nothing else, you could just hit the forward button and send it on to one of these folks so they hear it from more than one person.
From: Tom Verdel
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2013 2:29 PM
To: Banz Gary ; Billy Lisa J. ; Brumbaugh David ; Christian Mike ; Cockroft Josh ; Cooksey Marian ; Dank David ; Derby David ; Echols Jon ; Enns John ; Floyd Kay ; Grau Randy ; Hall Elise ; Hamilton Rebecca ; Henke Katie ; Inman Scott ; Jordan Fred ; Joyner Charlie ; Kern Sally ; Kirby Dan ; Kouplen Steve ; Martin Scott ; Matthews Kevin ; McBride Mark ; McCall Charles A. ; McCullough Mark ; McDaniel Jeannie ; McDaniel Randy ; McNiel Skye ; Moore Lewis ; Morrissette Richard ; Mulready Glen ; Murphey Jason ; Nelson Jason ; Newell Tom ; Nollan Jadine ; O'Donnell Terry ; Peterson Pam ; Pittman Anastasia ; Proctor Eric ; Reynolds Mike ; Ritze Mike ; Roberts Sean ; Scott Seneca ; Sears Earl ; Shannon T. W. ; Shelton Mike ; Smalley Jason ; Stiles Aaron ; Trebilcock John ; Turner Mike ; Virgin Emily ; Walker Ken ; Watson Weldon ; Wesselhoft Paul
Subject: Pending Legislation Needs Your Support
Ladies and Gentlemen:
These proposed bills represent true landmark legislation for our State. They deserve your close scrutiny and, hopefully, your positive and enthusiastic support. If approved by you, they will provide (along with other legislation you have already passed) the necessary framework for successfully building needed additional transportation opportunities for our state.
In the currently proposed President's Budget, the federal government intends to invest approximately $47 billion in additional passenger rail infrastructure, nationwide, over the next 6 years. This is a huge sum and the time to position the State of Oklahoma to take advantage of these investments is now. Investment in passenger rail infrastructure and eventually connecting Oklahoma travelers to a much-improved national rail network needs to begin this year. Without this legislation that cannot happen.
Creating an independent state Commission to manage these tasks is a smart idea. It will allow that body to focus closely, steadily and publicly on this important and growing transportation mode. It will also provide a very direct means to coordinate with other states and various federal agencies to ensure that this development can proceed steadily and thoughtfully over the remainder of the decade.
You and your constituents represent over 50% of this State's population and its two most populous cities. It is your constituents who will directly benefit from these better transportation options and increased opportunities for commercial development. There are also a number of positive environmental effects as well. Conversely, without this legislation, those benefits will not occur. Realistically, without your support, this opportunity will not come again for decades.
Please give these bills a careful review, recognize their significance and vote your approval.
Very respectfully yours,
Thomas H. Verdel
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