Attention: This is not a current document. It is an excerpt from the Web page of the former Colorado governor, Roy Romer. It is displayed by the Colorado State Archives for its historical value.
June 2, 1998
The Honorable Colorado Senate
Sixty-first General Assembly
Second Regular Session
Denver, CO 80203
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am returning to the Secretary of State Senate Bill 98-199, "Concerning
Qualifications for the Office of Sheriff," which I vetoed today at 9:40 A.M. .
This letter sets forth my reasoning for vetoing the bill.
This bill restates the current law we passed in 1997 that requires sheriffs to be
certified as peace officers by the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)
Board. If a sheriff is not certified, current law requires the county commissioners to
suspend the sheriff's pay. The chief change in the bill is that it moves this requirement
from the "training" section of the law to the "qualifications" section
of the law.
I support the efforts of the General Assembly, the POST Board, and the law enforcement
community to increase the skills and qualifications of our law enforcement officials.
However, the current law is now under review in Jackson v. Colorado, pending before
the Colorado Supreme Court. One of the issues of this case is the constitutionality of
withholding the pay of a sheriff. This case was argued to the Court on May 7, the day
after the General Assembly adjourned.
If the Court upholds the existing law, then this bill is arguably unnecessary. If it
overturns the law, this bill probably would be unconstitutional, because the same issues
are at stake. Therefore, I believe that the appropriate time for the General Assembly to
make changes - if any are necessary - is after we receive a ruling and guidance from the
For these reasons, I have vetoed Senate Bill 199.
Last modified June 18, 2003