Otero County Concerned Over Unfunded Mandates

(La Junta, CO) -- Otero County Administrator Amy White Tanabe went on record to say they could be looking to make some big cuts if a bill is introduced and passed into law that would allow county workers collective bargaining. Tanabe shared the concerns at Monday's Otero County Commissioner Meeting.


Tanabe explained the bill they are concerned over has yet to be be introduced in the Colorado General Assembly. She stated, however, that bills introduced this late in the session can be passed quickly and they are worried about it.


Tanabe elaborated the county already has the ability to do collective bargaining if they wanted to do so. And she said that policies or legislation should allow for local control. She said it would be better for them to visit with employees instead of being forced to do so through a union.


The legislation would be an unfunded mandate like they've never seen before.

Tanabe added, "here in Otero, we're on a fixed income, it's kinda like we're retired and on social security. Our property tax hasn’t climbed, we've been blessed that it's climbed a little bit but nothing to cover something like this as well as our sales tax."


County officials have run the numbers and feels like it could cost the county an estimated 2.8 million dollars more in their budget. There would need to possibly be cuts to staff replied Tanabe. There would also be possible cuts to county services for residents.


Colorado Counties Incorporated, CCI, is a group of county commissioners who keep a watchful eye on legislation and are also concerned with what the passage of this bill could do to counties' budgets.


Colorado State workers would not be included

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