Colorado teachers won’t be barred from striking – or face fines or jail time – because the bill’s GOP sponsor says he’ll yank it
Sen. Bob Gardner’s Senate Bill 264 drew swift outrage from teachers
April 30, 2018
The Republican state senator who brought a bill seeking to prohibit Colorado teachers from striking by threatening firings, fines or even jail time said Monday he will kill his own measure, citing concerns over lawmakers' already large workload in the waning days of this legislative session.
"We don't have time to have two hours of testimony for a bill that won't move forward," said Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs. "You introduce bills for public policy discussions as much as anything, and the bill certainly caused that."
Gardner's legislation, Senate Bill 264, which came as thousands of teachers were gearing up to protest education funding and educator pay at the state Capitol, drew swift outrage from teachers across Colorado and statehouse Democrats after it was introduced earlier this month.
Even Gardner's fellow Republicans were wary of the bill.
"I just think it's wrong to make it illegal for people to be able to walk off the job — criminally," said Senate President Pro Tem Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling. "Now, does that mean there's not consequences from your employer? There could be. But those ought to be dealt with by those local school boards, those local administrations."