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Weld, El Paso County commissioners object to collective bargaining proposal

Commissioners in Weld and El Paso counties are opposing legislation set to be introduced in the General Assembly that would give collective bargaining rights to some public workers.

The proposed legislation by Democratic lawmakers would apply to public higher education employees and county workers.

The proposal, which the counties say would be a mandate, could cost Weld County $30 million a year, according to “conservative” estimates in the county’s fiscal analysis. In El Paso County, the proposal could cost an estimated $25 million annually.

El Paso County Commissioners Board Chair Stan VanderWerf said in a statement that adding “collective bargaining as another bureaucratic layer is as unnecessary as it is expensive.”

“This proposal will force El Paso County to spend money it doesn’t have to administer a program it doesn’t need,” he said. “And it will be at the expense of the citizens who rely on our services to keep them safe.”

Weld County Commissioner Chair Scott James said the proposal “defies the will of local voters and takes away county commissioners’ ability to do the job our residents elected us to do.”

Weld and El Paso counties are two of 38 counties opposing the bill, in addition to the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Colorado Municipal League, and the Special District Association.

The Colorado Municipal League said in a bill analysis that it “opposes any state attempt to interfere in the decisions of local governments regarding employment.”

This article was originally posted on Weld, El Paso County commissioners object to collective bargaining proposal

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