BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 2423
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 7, 2008

                                  Mark Leno, Chair

                 AB 2423 (Bass) - As Introduced:  February 21, 2008 

          Policy Committee:                              Business and  
          Professions  Vote:                            10-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               


          This bill requires certain entities under the Department of  
          Consumer Affairs (DCA) to study barriers to employment in  
          specified licensed professions, specifies the terms and  
          conditions under which a probationary license may be issued, and  
          makes other changes related to licensing and discipline in order  
          to encourage the employment of ex-offenders. Specifically, this  

          1)Requires the following boards to report by September 1, 2010  
            on the effect of current law, regulations, and policy related  
            to their respective licensing functions that create  
            unnecessary barriers to employing people with criminal records  
            in selected professions:

             a)   Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians,  
               regarding employment of licensed vocational nurses and  
               psychiatric technicians.
             b)   Veterinary Medical Board, regarding registered  
               veterinary technicians.
             c)   Structural Pest Control Board, regarding licensed  
               structural pest control operators.
             d)   Bureau of Automotive Repair, regarding registered  
               automotive repair dealers.
             e)   Department of Consumer Affairs, regarding licensed  
               private investigators.

          2)Requires the entities in (1) to provide specified data, for  
            calendar years 2003 through 2007, regarding applicants who  
            disclosed a criminal record on their application, average  
            length of time for license appeals, and information regarding  


                                                                  AB 2423
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            criteria applied in determining relation of a criminal record  
            to licensure and determining whether rehabilitation is  

          3)Specifies the terms and conditions under which an initial  
            license for the occupations above may be issued on probation,  
            and specifies information a board must request from an  
            applicant when considering issuing a probationary license  
            based on criminal history.

          4)Requires the entities in (1) to provide specified reasons for  
            denying a license application based on criminal history.

          5)Requires the entities in (1) to conduct a hearing regarding a  
            license denial within 90 days of the applicant's request.

          6)Authorizes an administrative law judge, when recommending that  
            an entity in (1) revoke, suspend, or deny a licensee, to order  
            the licensee to pay the board's costs of investigation and  
            adjudication, and allows the board to enforce the order for  
            payment in superior court.


                                                                  AB 2423
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           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)The Bureau of Automotive repair indicates minimum costs of  
            $150,000 for two positions to complete the review and data  
            gathering requirements for the report. [Vehicle Repair and  
            Inspection Fund]

          2)The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians  
            would incur costs of around $200,000. [Vocational Nursing and  
            Psychiatric Technicians]

          3)The other three entities would incur costs of at least 100,000  
            each. [Veterinary Medical Board Contingent Fund, Structural  
            Pest Control Fund, Private Investigator Fund]

          4)Each of the five entities will incur costs of around $100,000  
            annually associated with the providing additional information  
            to applicants denied licensure, conducting hearings in these  
            cases within 90 days of receiving an applicant's request, and  
            issuing probationary licenses. 


           1)Purpose  . According to the author's office, "this bill protects  
            workers whose criminal records have been expunged from being  
            unfairly denied employment based on a DCA-regulated criminal  
            background check.  This bill balances consumer protection with  
            the creation of opportunities for ex-offenders. It requires a  
            study regarding the application and denial process for  
            individuals seeking a license, allows the Board to issue a  
            "probationary" license under specified conditions, requires  
            the Board to provide specific information to applicants on the  
            reason for license denial and requires the Board to conduct a  
            hearing within 90 days of receiving an applicant's request." 
          2)Background  . In 2005, the Assembly Business and Professions  
            Committee held two hearings to examine issues related to this  
            bill. The first explored the issue of barriers to employment  
            for individuals with criminal records and the second examined  
            obstacles to state licensure for individuals with criminal  
            records, and the government's role in balancing consumer  
            protection with creating opportunities for ex-offenders. This  
            bill is in response to those hearings.

            AB 2423 seeks to address recidivism in California. Between  


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            1980 and 2000, the state's adult prison population increased  
            almost seven-fold, from 24,000 to nearly 160,000. The number  
            of parolees released each year increased more than 10-fold  
            over this time, from 12,000 to over 126,000. About 67% of the  
            state's inmates are returning parolees, versus only 35%  
          3)Prior Legislation  . AB 861 (Bass)/Chapter 411 of 2006, requires  
            the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to give specified  
            additional information to a person who has been denied a  
            license, and requires the board to conduct a hearing within 90  
            days of receiving an applicant's request for a hearing for a  
            license denial. The bill authorizes the board to issue a  
            probationary license to an applicant, subject to specified  
            terms and conditions. 

            In 2007, AB 1025 (Bass), which provided that a person may not  
            be denied licensure based solely on a criminal conviction if  
            the person has been rehabilitated, was vetoed. The governor's  
            argued that the bill went too far in taking away a licensing  
            entity's discretion to deny a license. 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081