Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Democrats' Anti-Strike Bill Gets Preliminary OK in House

HB 1189, the Democratic majority's bill to ban strikes by state workers, passed the House on second reading this morning.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Riesberg, D-Fort Collins, makes striking by a state worker a misdemeanor. It does not explicitly give state courts the power to enjoin state worker strikes.

That omission is one of the reasons Republicans oppose it. During the debate this morning, Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, said the bill "does not have any teeth."

Gardner introduced several amendments to the bill, including one that would allow state courts to block strikes by state workers and another that would increase existing penalties against striking state workers. Both failed.

"We have laws on the books already to adequately handle the situation," Riesberg said.

The bill faces a third reading vote in the House before moving on to the Senate.