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Senate: Let first responders unionize

/ Source: The Associated Press

The Senate has given critical approval to legislation to give all police, firefighters and other first responders the right to collective bargaining.

The 69-29 procedural vote proves the bill would survive any possible filibuster attempt. The Senate will vote to send the bill to President Bush later this week.

However, several of Bush's Cabinet secretaries say they will suggest he veto the bill.

If he does, it would take two-thirds of the House and Senate to override his veto.

The bill would guarantee public safety officers the right to join unions and bargain over wages, hours and conditions of employment. It also would ban them from going on strike.

States could exempt towns with fewer than 5,000 people or fewer than 25 full time employees.