By Paul Simon
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
DENVER – Private investigators in Colorado will have to purchase a license by July 1, 2015, if they want to work in the state.
The Colorado House voted 37-25 Thursday to pass a mandatory licensing bill originated and passed in the Senate that – assuming Gov. John Hickenlooper signs the bill — creates two levels of licensing and eliminates a failed voluntary licensing program that created an estimated $70,000 debt over the past two years.
What licenses will cost and what experience will be required to obtain the higher Level II license will be established by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), which will adminster the licensing program. A Senate fiscal analysis based on a $300 annual fee and projecting 400 private investigators signing up was used in debate over the bill in various committees in both chambers of the legislature.
The specter of actors Tom Selleck and Dog the Bounty Hunter hung over the limited discussion in the House before the final vote.
Only two representatives spoke to the bill Thursday, House sponsor Jovan Melton, a Democrat from Aurora, and Cheri Gerou, a Republican from Evergreen. Both referenced Selleck Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife who were at the Capitol for another matter.