BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Tom Torlakson, Chairman 2423 (Bass) Hearing Date: 8/4/08 Amended: 8/4/08 Consultant: Bob Franzoia Policy Vote: BP&ED 9-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: AB 2423 would authorize specified boards and bureaus under the Department of Consumer Affairs (department) when considering the issuance of a probationary license or registration to request an applicant with a prior criminal history to provide proof of dismissal. The bill would (1) require boards to develop standard terms of probation, (2) authorize these boards to revoke, suspend, or deny at any time any required license or registration, and (3) require these boards to provide a specified statement of reasons for the denial and, if applicable, a copy of the applicant's criminal history record. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Fund Licensing and study workload - Veterinary Medical Board $77 $95 $95Special* - Structural Pest Control Board minor, absorbable costs ongoing for Special* these boards and bureaus - Bureau of Security and Special* Investigative Services - Bureau of Automotive Special* Repair - Board of Vocational Nursing Special* and Psychiatric Technicians - Board of Barbering and Special* Cosmetology * Veterinary Medical Board Contingent Fund, Structural Pest Control Fund, Private Investigator Fund, Vehicle Repair and Inspection Fund, Vocational Nurses Account/Psychiatric Technician Examiners Account of the Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians Fund, Barbering and Cosmetology Contingent Fund _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: The Veterinary Medical Board, due to the availability of controlled substances in the profession, will have permanent ongoing costs to handle increased probation monitoring. This board will also have increased licensing and Department of Justice casework. As with AB 1760 (Galgiani), also on the Senate Appropriations Committee's - 1 - Page 2 AB 2423 (Bass) agenda, these costs could have a negative impact on the Veterinary Medical Board Contingency Fund reserve. Staff recommends this 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 this board's revenue shortfall. In general, all boards and bureaus will have increased workload due to probation monitoring, increased appeals, forwarding criminal background information, etc. Each relevant section of the bill provides that if the denial of a license is due at least in part to the applicant's state or federal criminal history record, the board or bureau shall include with the Information provided?a copy of the applicant's criminal history record. As a way to streamline this workload, staff recommends the bill be amended to state, consistent with Health and Safety Code 1265.5 (k), a copy of the applicant's criminal history record shall be provided if the individual makes a written request for a copy specifying an address to which it is to be sent. This bill is similar to AB 1025 (Bass) 2007 which proposed that an applicant for a license with a board may not be denied licensure, or may not have their license suspended or revoked, solely on the basis that he or she has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor if they have obtained a certificate of rehabilitation and if the felony or misdemeanor conviction has been dismissed, it shall be presumed that the applicant or licensee has been rehabilitated unless the board proves otherwise. AB 1025 (Bass) was vetoed by the Governor with the following message: This bill could jeopardize the public health, safety, and welfare in a well intentioned but flawed attempt to permit individuals convicted of crimes to work in a regulated profession. I am concerned that this bill goes too far in taking away a licensing entity's discretion to deny a license or take other licensing actions, even it is in the best interest of the state's consumer. The State of California licenses various professions in order to protect consumers from unqualified, dangerous, or unscrupulous individuals. All statutes establishing licensing program mandate that the protection of the public is the highest priority and that "whenever the protection of the public is inconsistent with other interests sought to be promoted, the protection of the public shall be paramount." AB 1025 creates a presumption of rehabilitation based on an expungement of a conviction. This is problematic for two reasons. First, expungement is not intended to be indicative of rehabilitation. Second, this provision places the burden of proof on the state licensing bodies to show that an individual is not rehabilitated, which would result in increased litigation and extensive investigations.