May 16, 2016 -
Colorado lawmakers have passed House Bill 1160, a law requiring criminal background checks for surgical technologists and surgical assistants that requires them to submit their fingerprints to the state to detect criminal history.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the FBI would use the fingerprints for criminal background checks.
The state has relied on self-reporting of criminal records since 2010.
The legislature gave final approval this month and sent the legislation on to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who will decide whether to sign it into law.
According to the Denver Post, the new provisions sparked a heated debate with some Republicans arguing it is an example of government overreach as hospitals already conduct criminal background checks and said requiring applicants to submit fingerprints was duplicative.
Supporters of the bill countered that increased scrutiny was vital to the public’s safety in light of high-profile drug thefts in the state involving surgical technologists and assistants.
Meanwhile, registered and licensed practical nurses in Colorado don’t have to submit their fingerprints to the state despite it being a requirement in 37 other states as of 2014.