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Jan 22, 2013 3:12 PM by Alyse Rzemek

Firefighter labor bill poses dilemma for Colorado Dems

DENVER (AP) - An upcoming bill on firefighters and labor rights could expose cracks in the unified Democratic front controlling Colorado government.

A Senate committee is scheduled to begin work Wednesday on a bill that would allow collective bargaining for Colorado firefighters without local government approval. The measure is strongly opposed by local government groups, who say the state shouldn't be able to overstep local labor ordinances.

The firefighting measure would affect only a few thousand people, but it's being watched as a test of labor's strength with new Democratic majorities in both chambers. A similar measure was vetoed in 2009 by former Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter. This year, it's far from certain whether all Democrats or the current Democratic governor will support the idea.

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