It’s not often I laud Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, but he is to be commended today for choosing good public policy over political pressures by vetoing Senate Bill 180 — the firefighter collective bargaining legislation.
Third, the debate on this bill raised important issues about firefighter safety, but there are better ways to address these issues than mandatory collective bargaining in certain communities. We must address firefighter safety at the state level. Doing so ensures that all areas of Colorado can benefit. Under this bill, however, the safety issues would only be addressed in the jurisdictions required to engage in collective bargaining, which would unfairly limit the scope of the needed reforms to protect firefighter safety. I have heard from Colorado fire chiefs who have urged me to veto this bill since it would not create a statewide standard for firefighter safety.
Unfortunately for Democrats, this decision is only likely to escalate intra-party warfare. The question of the hour is how long it will take for the Big Labor LIAR to open fire against the incumbent governor. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem too likely that Bill Ritter will gain much politically (except sparing the wrath of the Colorado Municipal League) from today’s veto announcement.