Working America Helped Put Colorado Jobs Bill Over the Top

We had some good news for American workers out of Colorado last Friday. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) signed House Bill 1292, the “Keep Jobs in Colorado Act” into law.

This marked the successful conclusion to a two-year campaign waged by Working America, the Colorado AFL-CIO, and numerous other pro-worker organizations in the Centennial State.

It’s exactly the kind of bill that states should be passing.

When they assign projects, under the new law state agencies must take into consideration a contractor’s labor practices – wages, benefits, how they treat their workers – not just cost of the bid.

Plus, state-funded construction projects have to have at least 80 percent Colorado workers. Makes sense, right? Colorado projects should have Colorado workers? That requirement has been on the books for 80 years, but finally it has teeth – now there are penalties for contractors that don’t follow it.

A similar bill was first brought up in 2012. Since that time, Working America members and organizers had over 13,000 conversations, wrote over 1,000 handwritten letters, and collected over 1,300 petition signatures in communities around Colorado.

This is the type of commonsense legislation we hope to see elsewhere. Taxpayer funds should be used to hire local workers at good wages by contractors with good labor practices. Why Republicans in the legislature opposed this bill for two years is baffling, but thanks to the Colorado AFL-CIO working with pro-worker legislators and the advocacy of thousands of Coloradoans like you, it’s finally the law of the land.

Image by SenatorMikeJohnston on Flickr.

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