BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 2423
                                                                  Page  1

          AB 2423 (Bass)
          As Introduced February 21, 2008
          Majority vote 

           BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS  10-0    APPROPRIATIONS      17-0        
          |Ayes:|Eng, Emmerson, Carter,    |Ayes:|Leno, Walters, Caballero, |
          |     |Hayashi,  Hernandez,      |     |Davis, DeSaulnier,        |
          |     |Horton, Maze, Price,      |     |Emmerson, Eng, Huffman,   |
          |     |Torrico, Laird            |     |Berg, Krekorian, La       |
          |     |                          |     |Malfa, Lieu, Ma,          |
          |     |                          |     |Nakanishi, Nava,          |
          |     |                          |     |Sharon Runner, Solorio    |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           SUMMARY  :  Requires specified Department of Consumer Affairs  
          (DCA) boards to conduct a study on barriers to employment as  
          licensed professionals, specifies the terms and conditions under  
          which a probationary license may be issued, and makes other  
          changes related to licensing and discipline to encourage the  
          employment of ex-offenders.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric  
            Technicians, the Veterinary Medical Board, the Director of the  
            DCA, the Structural Pest Control Board, and the Bureau of  
            Automotive Repair (collectively, the board) to study the  
            effect of current law, regulations, and policy related to the  
            licensing functions of the board that may create unnecessary  
            barriers to employing people with criminal records as licensed  
            vocational nurses, licensed psychiatric technicians,  
            registered veterinary technicians, licensed private  
            investigators, licensed structural pest control operators, and  
            registered automotive repair dealers, respectively.

          2)Requires the board to gather information related to applicants  
            and the application process for the years 2003-2007, as  
            specified, and report its findings to the Legislature by  
            September 1, 2010. 

          3)Specifies the terms and conditions under which an initial  
            license may be issued on probation, and permits the board to  


                                                                  AB 2423
                                                                  Page  2

            modify or terminate the terms of that license. 

          4)Requires the board to take into account and consider any other  
            reasonable documents or individual character references  
            provided by the applicant that may serve as evidence of  
            rehabilitation as deemed appropriate. 

          5)Specifies that, in addition to the requirements provided in  
            current law dictating the procedure to be followed and  
            contents of a decision or notice sent by the board upon denial  
            of a license, the board shall provide a statement of reasons  
            for the denial, as specified. 

          6)Permits an administrative law judge (ALJ) to, in any case in  
            which the ALJ recommends that the board revoke, suspend, or  
            deny a license, order the licensee to pay the board's  
            reasonable costs of the investigation and adjudication of the  

          7)Permits the board to enforce the order for payment in the  
            superior court in the county where the administrative hearing  
            was held. 

           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.


                                                                  AB 2423
                                                                  Page  3

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "This bill protects workers  
          whose criminal record has been expunged from being unfairly  
          denied employment based on a DCA-regulated criminal background  

          "This bill balances consumer protection with the creation of  
          opportunities for ex-offenders.  It provides a study regarding  
          the application and denial process for individuals seeking a  
          license (specifically those with criminal records), 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." 

          The Assembly Business and Professions Committee held two  
          hearings in 2005 to examine issues related to this bill.  The  
          first hearing explored the issue of barriers to employment for  
          individuals with criminal records and its relationship to the  
          growing recidivism rate in California, and the second hearing  
          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.   

          This bill addresses a critically important issue in California -  
          recidivism.  The most proven method to reducing recidivism is  
          creating a sustainable lifestyle through employment.  Existing  
          law expressly authorizes DCA-regulated boards to take into  
          account records that have been expunged under the Penal Code.   
          The statute undermines the goal of expungement policies, which  
          seek to encourage individuals to successfully serve their terms  
          of probation, find work, and not commit other crimes.  Given the  
          importance of these re-entry policies, individuals are not  
          required to disclose expunged convictions to private employers.   
          The author argues that DCA practice should be brought into line  
          with these policies, and DCA boards should acknowledge the  
          judgment of the criminal justice system that this person has  
          been rehabilitated.  Thus, this bill requires the DCA boards to  
          strongly consider individuals with criminal history records fit  
          for licensure unless there is strong evidence to the contrary  
          that the expunged conviction is substantially related to the  
          qualifications, functions, or duties of the profession for which  


                                                                  AB 2423
                                                                  Page  4

          application is made.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Sarah Huchel / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301  
                                                         FN: 0005017