STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
SENATE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
|Referred to the Committee of the Whole
Amended, Laid Over
Senator Williams, Chair, called the meeting to order.
01:38 PM -- House Bill 09-1091
Senator Romer, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1091, concerning a requirement that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in residential properties.
The following persons testified in regard to House Bill 09-1091:
01:39 PM -- Nick Nuanes, Denver, representing himself, spoke of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. He said that these accidents occur often due to the lack of proper ventilation in homes and the use of appliances that are not designed to be used in a living space. He said that approximately 100 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. He said that the alarms are similar in size to a smoke detector and that the devices should be placed in sleeping areas. He noted that the devices cost from $15 to $40. He said that approximately 15 other states have similar statutes.
01:43 PM -- Leslie Feuerborn, representing SAFE Kids, supported House Bill 09-1091 and noted that it will help to ensure the safety of children. She commented on the long-term consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning.
01:50 PM -- Neil Rosenberger, representing Red White and Blue Fire, commented on the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and supported House Bill 09-1091.
01:55 PM -- Don Johnson, Windsor, representing himself, spoke of the death of his daughter in a carbon monoxide poisoning incident. He commented on the life of his daughter and supported House Bill 09-1091. He said that House Bill 09-1091 is a bill that will prevent unnecessary deaths in the future.
02:01 PM -- Christina Fedolphi, Brunswick, Maine, representing herself, commented on the lives of her family members who died in a carbon monoxide poisoning accident. She supported House Bill 09-1091.
02:06 PM -- Kathryn Feuerbach, Brookline, Massachusetts, representing herself, commented on her the lives of her four family members who died in a carbon monoxide poisoning accident. She spoke of the fear that the accident has brought into the lives of children who knew the victims.
02:13 PM -- Dr. Eric Lavonas, Denver, representing himself, said that carbon monoxide is the "#1 poisoning killer in the United States," excluding illegal drugs. He said that carbon monoxide poisoning is often misdiagnosed, and that it kills an average of eight Coloradans each year. He spoke of the incorporation of detector requirements into business codes. He said that about one-quarter of survivors of this poisoning have brain impairment.
02:20 PM -- Nancy Burke, representing the Colorado Apartment Association, supported House Bill 09-1091. She said that residents should be comfortable and safe in their homes.
02:21 PM -- Michael Franson, Denver, representing himself, spoke of his friends who died in a carbon monoxide poisoning accident. He supported House Bill 09-1091, and commented on states that have recently adopted requirements for detectors.
02:26 PM -- Jean Rittenour, Portland, Oregon, representing herself, spoke of her family members who died in a carbon monoxide poisoning accident. She commented on the cherished memories that she has of her family members. She said that House Bill 09-1091 will help others to avoid a senseless death.
02:29 PM -- Andrea Glass, Breckenridge, representing herself, spoke of a "close call" she had with carbon monoxide poisoning. She said that she and her family were in their home while it contained toxic levels of carbon monoxide. She and her family were treated at a hospital for the poisoning.
| 02:37:24 PM
|Moved that House Bill 09-1091 be referred to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a 4-0-1 roll call vote.
Final YES: 4 NO: 0 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
The committee meeting recessed.
The committee meeting reconvened in Senate Committee Room 354.
04:30 PM -- Senate Bill 09-180
Senator Tochtrop, prime sponsor, presented Senate Bill 09-180, concerning collective bargaining by employees of public safety agencies. She commented on the benefits to police officers and firefighters that will result from Senate Bill 09-180. She noted that several municipalities already permit collective bargaining by these employees.
The following persons testified in regard to Senate Bill 09-180:
04:36 PM -- Dan Oates, representing the City of Aurora and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, said that the city opposes Senate Bill 09-180 and that the bill jeopardizes existing labor agreements. He said that Senate Bill 09-180 will preempt local control and be costly to local governments.
04:40 PM -- Doug Hutchinson, Mayor, City of Fort Collins, said that the City of Fort Collins has collective bargaining currently, but nevertheless, that he opposes Senate Bill 09-180 as an interference with local control. He also expressed concern with the cost of special elections under Senate Bill 09-180.
04:47 PM -- Sheriff Grayson Robinson, Arapaho County, representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, opposed Senate Bill 09-180, and said that it represents an unfunded mandate on local governments that would be especially onerous in the current economic conditions. He also expressed concern with the costs of elections under Senate Bill 09-180. Senator Tochtrop noted that the Colorado State Patrol is not addressed by Senate Bill 09-180 due to constitutional restrictions.
04:59 PM -- Chief Kevin Paletta, City of Lakewood, representing the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, opposed Senate Bill 09-180 and noted that police and fire employees are well compensated and receive attractive benefits in his community. He expressed concern with the impact of Senate Bill 09-180 on the scheduling of work of city employees. He said that a negotiated arrangement is not superior to a collaborative relationship with employees. He reiterated concerns with the potential fiscal impact of Senate Bill 09-180.
05:03 PM -- Mike Rock, City Manager, City of Lakewood, representing the City of Lakewood, said that the city has done a good job of providing public safety and that he does not believe that Senate Bill 09-180 will benefit police and fire employees. He said that the city requires a bachelor's degree of their police employees. He commented on the salaries that are paid to police officers in Lakewood.
05:10 PM -- Kevin Bommer, representing the Colorado Municipal League, commented on cities that have voted against collective bargaining in Colorado. He said that it is very unlikely that strikes would occur among these employees. He commented on the strike prohibition in Senate Bill 09-180. He said that current compensation of police officers and firefighters in Colorado compares favorably to compensation across the nation. He spoke of the potential of Senate Bill 09-180 to interfere with municipal home rule authority. He said that Senate Bill 09-180 is replete with provisions that are unacceptable to municipalities.
05:25 PM -- Evan Goulding, representing the Colorado Special District Association, opposed Senate Bill 09-180 and said that there are approximately 250 special districts in the state providing law enforcement or fire protection services. He reiterated that the matter of collective bargaining should be addressed locally. He expressed concern with the impact of Senate Bill 09-180 on the relationship between paid and volunteer firefighters.
05:30 PM -- Andy Karsian, representing Colorado Counties, Inc., opposed Senate Bill 09-180 as an unfunded mandate on county governments. He said that rural county budgets "are already stretched."
05:34 PM -- Tom Buescher, representing the Colorado Professional Firefighters, said that Senate Bill 09-180 will permit the right to collective bargaining and create an impasse procedure that allows the citizens of a community to be the final judge of compensation paid. He said that Senate Bill 09-180 will prohibit strikes and protect bargaining relationships. He said that most metro-area fire departments have existing bargaining relationships. He argued that Senate Bill 09-180 does not create an unfunded mandate, and noted that it will allow a majority of officers and firefighters in a department to choose collective bargaining. He said that employees who do not desire the collective bargaining relationship will not seek it. He said that perceptions of the employment situation generally differ among employees and management. He added that collective bargaining is a process that brings about good results. He said that there are "abhorrent practices" in the treatment of police officers and firefighters in some parts of the state. Mr. Buescher said that Senate Bill 09-180 does not overturn any bargaining relationships or civil service systems unless the parties at the table choose to do so. He said that collective bargaining can improve morale and working conditions, as well as improve safety, salaries and benefits. He said that employees who have participated in collective bargaining are more satisfied and do a better job. He said that the best collective bargaining agreement "is one that is mutually agreed to." He said that the process is designed to find common ground between the parties, and that it is certainly possible to have happy employees without collective bargaining. He said that Senate Bill 09-180 does not violate multi-year agreement provisions of the TABOR (Taxpayer's Bill of Rights) amendment to the Colorado constitution. He commented on employers in Colorado who have refused to allow changes in equipment, jeopardizing the safety of police officers.
05:53 PM -- Tommy McLallen, representing the Fraternal Order of Police, supported Senate Bill 09-180, and commented on morale in police departments. He said that employee perceptions of work conditions frequently differ from the perceptions of management. He said that collective bargaining will help to "level the playing field." He said that collective bargaining is "about fairness."
06:03 PM -- Mark Rogers, representing the Colorado Professional Firefighters, said that many firefighters have no civil service protections and that they deserve a "seat at the table." He supported Senate Bill 09-180.
06:04 PM -- Dennis Eulberg, representing the Colorado Professional Firefighters, commented on the work of firefighters. He said that firefighters are aware of budget constraints of local governments. He said that Senate Bill 09-180 will give a voice to the state's firefighters. He noted that Senate Bill 09-180 prohibits strikes.
| 06:19:13 PM
|Moved a prepared amendment to Senate Bill 09-180 (Attachment A), L.003. The motion passed on a 3-2-0 roll call vote.
Not Final YES: 3 NO: 2 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
Following adoption of this motion Senator Williams took the bill off of the table. The committee meeting recessed.