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Firefighter union bill advances in CO Senate

DENVER (AP) -- A proposal to grant collective bargaining rights for professional Colorado firefighters advanced in the Democratic-led Senate over objections from Republicans who argue it violates local control.

The proposal got initial approval on a voice vote Monday after Republicans unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill to limit the areas in Colorado where firefighters could have collective bargaining. The bill would apply to places where local voters have opposed collective bargaining rights.

Labor groups say firefighters statewide deserve bargaining rights over things like equipment and working conditions.

The Colorado Municipal League opposes the bill and says collective bargaining rights should be left to local governments to decide.

The bill faces one more vote in the Senate before the Democratic-led House considers it.