For those that aren't in the Private Investigation industry, you probably didn't know that since the economic downturn, recession, bust, or whatever politically correct term you want to call it happened, the industry has indeed been on life support. Most Private Investigators would like to hide that fact behind their public service retirement and other pensions that have kept them afloat throughout this crisis! The California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI) is trying to kill the Private Investigation industry and SB202 is a way for them to pull the plug!
In comparison to other industries, the PI industry is fueled by a booming economy and is stagnant at best during a bust economy. I only say this because it is true. Money used to pay for Private Investigations is not top-of-mind when the prospective client's priorities are:
a) To keep their job or in some cases to find a job (Unemployment is horrendous in California with 9.3% of the state being jobless.)1
b) Negotiating with their lender or finding someone to negotiate with their lender on their behalf so they don't become part of the population who have been foreclosed on in California (Foreclosures were up 54% in January of this year)2
c) Saving their money since they don't know if they are going to have their job tomorrow (Most of these concerns are brought about by the government bailouts, stores closing,i.e. Mervyns, Gottschalks, etc.)
And there are more worries for consumers out there. CALI is again trying to shove this legislation down the throat of all PI's in California, most of which don't want this legislation.
What is SB 202?
SB 202 is a third attempt by CALI to force California Licensed Investigators who are already hurting, some working part-time and even full-time jobs to make the bills to also find time in their busy schedule to go to mandated unnecessary continuing education training. This may not sound like a lot but their concern is that the Private Investigation industry isn't regulated enough. They think that California Private Investigators need training in ethics and other upcoming legislation and we should be mandated to pay CE providers (special interest groups) who may or may not have any Private Investigation or legal experience to provide this legal update and ethics training. Meanwhile, the lobbying efforts of CALI, again without the consent of all Private Investigators in the state of California are lying to California legislators about whether the PI industry in California even wants or needs this legislation.
Why would CALI want to kill the California Private Investigation Industry?
CALI has had an unusual number of members that have dropped their membership in the past few years including the author of this article. This has been in opposition to CALI trying to put unnecessary legislation through to force Private Investigators to attend mandated annual continuing education training. CALI has also mentioned their interest in being a CE provider.
If you are ever to go to a CALI meeting or conference, both events have received a decreased number of members in attendance in comparison to the years when they weren't lobbying for this harmful legislation. In addition, when you attend, you basically attend a 2-3 hour-long or 2 to 3 day infomercial where someone is trying to sell their product, service or book.
CALI can see that their membership is down and they know that SB202 will put a spike through the heart of the PI industry. This legislation is unnecessary and will finally put the Private Investigation industry down for the count.
By the way, the legislators never asked how Private Investigators have gotten these legal updates in the past. If they did ask, they would know that PICA and even CALI have sent these through the listserve to Private Investigators while other Private Investigators get their legal updates the old fashioned way, they keep up through research and reading legal journals.
There is a shining light of hope coming from one growing Private Investigation association that I am still a part of and they oppose SB 202. That organization is the Professional Investigators of California (PICA). This is an organization that listens to its membership unlike CALI and was created for the Private Investigator and by the Private Investigator. In this rough economy, they understand that Private Investigators are hurting financially which is why, on their website, they are offering membership this year for only $99.
I urge all Private Investigators, Attorneys and consumers who understand the plight of the Private Investigator from reading this blog to contact your local legislator and tell them how bad SB 202 will be for the Private Investigation industry which essentially is on life support. SB 202 is bad unnecessary legislation and it will pull the plug on the Private Investigation industry which is already barely alive and on life support.
For more information on opposition to SB 202, please go to: Opposition to SB 202