BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 107
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          Date of Hearing:   March 17, 2009

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                 AB 107 (Galgiani) - As Introduced:  January 12, 2009
          SUBJECT  :   Veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians.
          SUMMARY  :   Requires the California Veterinary Medical Board  
          (Board) to offer the veterinary licensing exam at least twice a  
          year; makes other changes related to reciprocity and temporary  
          licensing requirements for out-of-state veterinarians; clarifies  
          the enforcement actions that may be taken against a registered  
          veterinarian technician (RVT); and makes other technical and  
          conforming changes to the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Clarifies that the Governor appoints five members to the  
            Board, including one public member. 

          2)Requires the Board to give the veterinary licensing  
            examination at least twice per year. 

          3)Delineates reciprocity requirements, and requires the Board to  
            waive certain examination requirements and issue a license to  
            an applicant who fulfills such requirements.  This bill also  
            allows an applicant to use a certificate issued by the Program  
            for Assessment of Education Equivalence to fulfill the  
            education requirement for purposes of reciprocity.

          4)Requires the Board to issue a temporary license valid for one  
            year to an eligible applicant who agrees to complete the  
            approved educational curriculum on regionally specific and  
            important diseases and conditions in California during the  
            period of temporary licensure, and who meets all other  
            specified reciprocity requirements.  

          5)Allows the Board to extend the expiration date of a temporary  
            license for not more than one year. 

          6)Clarifies under what conditions the Board may place on  
            probation, revoke, suspend the registration of, or take other  
            enforcement action against a RVT. 


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          7)Makes various technical and conforming amendments. 

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides for the examination, licensure and regulation of  
            veterinarians and RVTs by the Board.

          2)Requires the Board to ascertain by means of examination given  
            at least once each year, the professional qualifications of  
            applicants for licensure and to issue a license to every  
            qualified applicant.  

          3)Delineates reciprocity requirements, and requires the Board to  
            waive certain examination requirements and issue a temporary  
            license valid for one year to a qualified applicant to  
            practice veterinary medicine under the supervision of a  
            licensed California veterinarian. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown 

           COMMENTS  :  

           Purpose of this bill  .  According to the author's office, "There  
          is a current veterinarian shortage in California, particularly  
          affecting the agricultural communities.  Part of the shortage  
          problem is the fact that current law only requires the Board to  
          offer the veterinary licensing test once a year, thus driving  
          otherwise qualified veterinarians to leave the state in order to  
          test for their license and find employment.  Current law is also  
          very cumbersome to practicing veterinarians in other states who  
          would like to practice in California."

          "AB 107 would authorize the Board to offer the veterinary  
          licensing exam at least twice a year, which would allow a  
          greater number of candidates to test for their license.  AB 107  
          will also revise current law to provide different paths for  
          licensed veterinarians from other states to receive reciprocity.  
           With such a high demand for veterinarians in California, it is  
          vital that there is no added bureaucracy preventing veterinary  
          school graduates or licensed veterinarians from other states  
          from becoming licensed California veterinarians.  AB 107 is an  
          important bill that will ease this existing burden, and allow  
          for more veterinarians in California."  

          Background  .  According to a November 2004 report by the  


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          University of California Subcommittee on Veterinary Medical  
          Education, the current national shortfall of at least 1,500  
          veterinarians could grow to 15,000 or more over the next 20  
          years.  This shortage is especially dire in California where  
          there are about 17 veterinarians for every 100,000 people - far  
          below the national average of 27 per 100,000.  

          The author notes that the current lack of licensed veterinarians  
          has a direct effect on the safety of our food supply, and cites  
          an American Veterinary Medical Association study stating that  
          the demand for "food supply veterinarians" (farm animal  
          veterinarians) is predicted to increase 12 to 13% over the next  
          eight years.  This research also shows that there will most  
          likely be a four to five percent decrease of these types of  
          veterinarians available in our agricultural and farming  
          communities because of the shortage of veterinarians in this  

          In 2008, the Department of Consumer Affairs estimated that  
          AB1760 (Galgiani), a bill identical to AB 107, would result in  
          an increase of 100 veterinarians in California each year. 
          Prior Legislation  .  AB 1760 (Galgiani) of 2008 was an identical  
          bill that the Governor vetoed. The Governor vetoed a substantial  
          number of bills that year with the same message that, due to the  
          delay in passing the 2008-2009 State Budget, he would only sign  
          bills that were "the highest priority for California."  AB 1760  
          was vetoed for this reason.  

          SB 2003 (Knight), Chapter 1070, Statutes of 1998, required the  
          Board to issue temporary licenses to practice veterinary  
          medicine, changed requirements for testing of applicants,  
          required and authorized the Board to set and appropriate the  
          examination and license fees, and created a one-year temporary  
          license for qualifying internship or residency programs.

           Support .  The Western United Dairymen and California Cattlemen's  
          Association assert that
          AB 107 will help alleviate California's shortage of food animal  
          veterinarians by "streamlining the process by which  
          veterinarians are able to become licensed to practice in  
          California . . . and is an important first step in ensuring we  
          have the necessary food animal veterinarians needed to perform  
          vital services."  


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          Western United Dairymen (sponsor)
          California Cattlemen's Association (sponsor)
          California Farm Bureau Federation
          Veterinary Medical Association

          None on file. 
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Whitney Clark / B. & P. / (916)