Colorado House approves firefighter labor union bill that Hickenlooper has threatened to veto

Bill could lead to Democrat showdown

DENVER - The Colorado House of Representatives approved a firefighter labor bill that Gov. John Hickenlooper has threatened to veto. If the bill proceeds, the Democratic House could face an intra-party showdown with Hickenlooper.

The bill approved Wednesday evening enhances the rights of professional firefighters to talk about working conditions, even if their communities have voted to ban their use of collective bargaining. The measure is s watered-down version of a proposal vetoed in 2009 by former Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, threatened to veto this year's version, too. Local government groups argue labor decisions should be left to them.

One more vote is required in the House. The bill has already passed the Senate.