Labor Legislation Goes To Hearing

The cafeteria at the state capitol building was almost completely empty this morning, where the only people on the building’s bottom floor were construction workers and a small group attending the hearing of a proposed initiative to weaken labor unions.

The meeting was routine and short, but it also brought up questions for proponents to consider.John Berry, the attorney who submitted the initiative on behalf of the proposal’s sponsors (one of which is Aurora City Council member Ryan Frazier), was present at the meeting along with legislative staff members who asked a variety of questions about the legislation.

When asked to summarize the single subject of the elaborate legislation, Berry responded that it was “concerning union participation by workers.” Under the state constitution, every proposed initiative is required to have a single subject.

Also discussed in the meeting was the possible punishment for individuals who violate the measure. Currently, there is a misdemeanor fine of no more than $500, although it may be changed to comply with adjusted inflation. The fine money is also planned to go to the state’s general fund, which the General Assembly has the power to allocate.

Earlier today, July 10th, Colorado Confidential reported on possible persons of interest in the case of the anti-union initiative, with two being former GOP operatives.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at