BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Tom Torlakson, Chairman 1760 (Galgiani) Hearing Date: 8/4/08 Amended: 5/6/08 Consultant: Bob Franzoia Policy Vote: BP&ED 9-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: AB 1760, relating to veterinarians, would do the following: - Require the Governor to appoint one public member to the five member Veterinary Medical Board (board). - Require the board exam for licensure be given at least twice a year. - Require the board to waive the exam requirement and issue a license to an applicant if he or she meets certain requirement, including holding a license in good standing in another state and having practiced clinical veterinary medicine for a specified amount of time. - Revise the requirements for issuance of a temporary license to practice veterinary medicine. - Authorize the board to assess fines and issue citations to, and place on probation, a registered veterinary technician who violates the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act. - Make provisions of the act relative to revocation and reinstatement of licenses applicable to veterinary technician registrations. Because fees from the reinstatement of a revoked veterinary technician registration collected by the board pursuant to the provisions of this bill would be deposited in the Veterinary Medical Board Contingent Fund, which is a continuously appropriated fund, the bill would make an appropriation. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Fund Temporary veterinary license $76 $65 $65 ongoing Special* License and penalty revenue $9 $18 $18Special* * Veterinary Medical Board Contingent Fund (VMBCF) _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: This bill would require the board to waive examination requirements and issue a temporary license to an applicant who (1) has either graduated from a veterinary college recognized by the board or possesses a certificate issued by a specified commission or by the Program for Assessment of Educational Equivalence and, (2) within three years immediately preceding filing and application, has practiced clinical veterinary medicine for a minimum of two years and completed a minimum of 2,944 hours of clinical practice. Beginning 2008-09, the VMBCF will have a reserve of $781,000, equal to 3.7 months of operation. By 2011-12, the VMBCF reserve will be negative. (Business and Professions Code 4905 (m) requires that the VMBCF reserve shall not be less than three months nor more than ten months of annual authorized board expenditures.) This - 1 - Page 2 AB 1760 (Galgiani) bill, which will impose new licensing and enforcement workload associated with issuing an estimated 100 new temporary veterinary licenses annually will exacerbate VMB revenue problems. Under Business and Professions Code 4905 (d), the fee for the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act exam, which is set by regulation in an amount the VMB determines reasonably necessary to provide sufficient funding, is capped at $50. The fee, which was set at $35, was increased in October 2007 to the cap. Under subdivision (g) of the same section, the fee for a temporary license is capped at $125. The increased costs associated with offering more Veterinary Medicine Practice Act exams and processing more temporary licenses will further deplete the VMBCF reserve. Staff recommends the bill be amended to make it contingent on the passage of SB 1584 (Padilla) which would allow an increase in the maximum amounts that the board may set for certain specified fees. (SB 1584 (Padilla) would also delete the provision of law requiring the board to set and collect a fee for the national licensing exam, and would require an application fee to be paid by a school or institution seeking approval of registered veterinary technician curriculum.) Absent that contingency, this bill, if chaptered, would exacerbate the board's revenue problems if the fee increases in SB 1584 are not enacted. The board must adopt regulations in order to increase a fee to a statutory cap.