Thursday, June 5, 2008


June 5, 2008
Honorable Colorado House of Representatives
66th General Assembly
Second Regular Session
State Capitol
Denver, CO 80203
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am filing with the Secretary of State House Bill 08-1170, "Concerning the regulation of electricians, and making an appropriation therefore." I vetoed this bill as of 10:25 a.m., and this letter sets forth my reasons for doing so.
House Bill 08-1170 would establish continuing competency standards for master and journeymen electricians, new education standards regarding alternative energy technologies, and new training requirements for electrical apprentices.  Although the enhancement of training requirements for electricians is a worthy policy goal that my administration supports, I believe that the additional requirements for electrical apprentices contained in this bill will be unduly burdensome, particularly for independent and rural contractors.
In addition to the on-the-job training that apprentice electricians receive under current law, House Bill 08-1170 would require all apprentice electricians to be continuously enrolled in a federally-certified training program throughout the duration of their apprenticeship.  Although federally-certified training programs currently exist, these programs are not readily available or easily accessible to many living in rural Colorado.
Furthermore, federal certification of the apprentice training program would carry with it the requirement that those Coloradoelectrical contractors who employ apprentices meet certain federal employment standards.  These additional requirements would increase administrative burdens and costs on those contractors not currently obligated to meet these requirements.  Indeed, the additional burden would likely be borne disproportionately by small and rural contractors.  Finally, by tying State's training program directly to a federal program, the State would surrender important flexibility to utilize innovative, competency-based training methods and fashion a program that works well in all parts of the State.
Again, I believe that a review of the training standards for this profession is warranted.  Therefore, I am directing the Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Employment to convene the stakeholders during the interim in order to develop a balanced solution that includes competency-based training requirements to the current regulatory scheme in a manner that does not unnecessarily or disproportionately burden any particular sector of the profession, particularly those in rural Colorado.
Bill Ritter, Jr.