BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1584
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   July 2, 2008

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mark Leno, Chair

                   SB 1584 (Padilla) - As Amended:  June 23, 2008 

          Policy Committee:                              Business and  
          Profession   Vote:                            7-1

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  


          This bill increases various regulatory fees for veterinarians  
          and registered veterinary technicians (RVTs), establishes  
          investigatory and enforcement priorities for the Veterinary  
          Medical Board (VMB), and make other changes to the Veterinary  
          Medicine Practice Act. Specifically, this bill:


          1)Increases the regulatory ceiling on various licensing-related  
            fees for veterinarians and RVTs. The cap on most fees will  
            double, and in some cases will increase by up to 250%.


          2)Requires the VMB to prioritize its investigative and  
            prosecutorial resources, as specified, to ensure that the most  
            problematic veterinarians and RVTs are identified and  
            disciplined expeditiously.


          3)Requires the VMB to:


             a)   Report annually and make publicly available the number  
               of disciplinary actions it takes. 


             b)   Provide a notice of deficiencies and a reasonable time  
               for compliance prior to further action for any violations  
               found as a result of an inspection.









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             c)   Consider, in making regulations covering the assessment  
               of civil penalties, whether a violation is minor. 


          4)Requires every registrant to notify the VMB within 30 days of  
            changing their mailing address, and stipulates that the VMB  
            shall not renew the registration of anyone failing to comply  
            unless a penalty fee is paid.


          5)Requires the VMB to appoint a voluntary advisory committee  
            until July 1, 2011 to assist, advise, and make recommendations  
            for the implementation of rules and regulations necessary to  
            ensure proper administration of the Act.


           FISCAL EFFECT 

          1)Annual special fund revenues of $480,000 from increased fees  
            ($440,000) and additional citations ($40,000). [VMB Contingent  
            Fund]

          2)Special fund costs of $170,000 in 2009-10 and $150,000 in  
            2010-11 for one position to support the advisory committee and  
            for presumed additional citations and appeals related to a  
            more targeted enforcement program.

           COMMENTS  


           1)Background and Purpose  . The VMB licenses and regulates  
            approximately 9,800 veterinarians, 4,200 RVTs and 2,600  
            veterinary hospitals. The VMB's statutory fee ceilings have  
            not been increased since 1992. The board increased its fees to  
            the maximum allowable on October 1, 2007 to cover increasing  
            costs of its operations, but the board indicates that these  
            levels are insufficient to offset a dwindling fund balance,  
            and the fund will be nearly insolvent by 2010-11. This bill is  
            the result of efforts between the California Veterinary  
            Medical Association and the VMB to link the fee increases with  
            operational reforms at the board.


           2)Amendments  . The author is proposing amendments to (1) add  








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            additional investigative priorities and (2) provide the board  
            with authority to take immediate action, without notice of  
            deficiencies or time for compliance, in cases where violations  
            represent an immediate threat to health and safety.


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