BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 107|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 107
          Author:   Galgiani (D)
          Amended:  6/1/09 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE BUSINESS, PROF. & ECON. DEVELOP. COMM.  :  7-0, 6/8/09
          AYES:  Negrete McLeod, Aanestad, Corbett, Correa, Romero,  
            Walters, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Wyland, Florez, Oropeza

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  11-0, 6/29/09
          AYES:  Kehoe, Cox, Corbett, Leno, Oropeza, Price, Runner,  
            Walters, Wolk, Wyland, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Denham, Hancock

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  79-0, 4/13/09 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Veterinarians and registered veterinary  
          technicians

           SOURCE  :     Western United Dairyman
                      California Cattlemens Association


           DIGEST  :    This bill clarifies the appointment of members  
          to the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) by the Governor,  
          requires the VMB to offer both a written and practical  
          examination at least twice a year until January 1, 2011,  
          and after that date, to offer a national examination and a  
          state specific examination on animal health care tasks.   
          This bill also makes other changes related to reciprocity  
                                                           CONTINUED





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          and temporary licensing requirements for out-of-state  
          veterinarians, clarifies the enforcement actions that may  
          be taken against a registered veterinarian technician, and  
          makes other technical and conforming changes to the  
          Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law:

           1.   Provides for the examination, licensing, and  
               regulation of approximately 9,800 veterinarians and  
               4,300 registered veterinary technicians by the VMB in  
               the Department of Consumer Affairs.

           2.   Requires that the VMB shall, by means of examination,  
               ascertain the professional qualifications of all  
               applicants for licensure to practice veterinary  
               medicine in this state and shall issue a license to  
               every person whom it finds to be qualified.

           3.   Specifies that a registered veterinary technician  
               means a person who is registered by the VMB if they  
               have passed a written and practical examination and  
               have met specified requirements.

           4.   Provides that the VMB may waive the examination  
               requirements as specified and issue a temporary  
               license valid for one year to an applicant to practice  
               veterinary medicine under the supervision of another  
               licensed California veterinarian if the applicant  
               meets the specified requirements.

           5.   Provides that the VMB shall issue a temporary license  
               valid for one year to an applicant accepted into a  
               qualifying internship or residency program that meets  
               specified requirements including graduation from a  
               veterinary college or possess a certificate issued by  
               the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary  
               Graduates.

          This bill:

           1.   Clarifies that the Governor actually appoints five  
               members to the VMB, and that one of those members  
               shall be a public member.







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           2.   Provides that the examinations for a registered  
               veterinary technician shall be a written and practical  
               examination until January 1, 2011, and then after that  
               date, the examinations for registered veterinary  
               technicians shall consist of a national examination  
               and a state specific examination on animal health care  
               tasks.

           3.   Provides that the examinations may be given at the  
               same time or at different times as determined by the  
               VMB and that the VMB, for examination purposes, may  
               make contractual arrangements on a sole source basis  
               with organizations furnishing examination material as  
               it may deem desirable and shall be exempt from the  
               requirements for services contracts of state agencies  
               to meet statewide participation goals (Section 10115  
               of the Public Contract Code).

           4.   Provides, however, that the national licensing  
               examination shall only be provided upon the  
               availability of the computerized examination on or  
               after January 1, 2011.

           5.   Changes one of the requirements as specified in item  
               #7 above, so that an applicant in good standing shall  
               within three years preceding filing an application for  
               licensure have practiced clinical veterinary medicine  
               for a minimum of two years and completed a minimum of  
               2,944 hours of clinical practice, rather than having  
               practiced clinical veterinary medicine for a minimum  
               of four years full time. Provides also that an  
               applicant can also possess a certificate issued by the  
               Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education  
               Equivalency (PAVE) to meet the requirements as a  
               graduate from a veterinary college.

           6.   Provides for purposes of reciprocity, that the VMB  
               shall waive the examination requirements if an  
               applicant for a license meets all of the requirements  
               as specified in item # 7 and #5 above, and shall issue  
               a license once the approved educational curriculum on  
               regionally specific and important diseases and  
               conditions is completed. 







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           7.   Requires the VMB to issue a temporary license valid  
               for one year to practice veterinary medicine under the  
               supervision of another California-licensed  
               veterinarian in good standing if the applicant  
               satisfies all of the requirements as specified in item  
               #7 above, and would not be denied issuance of a  
               license under any other provision of law, and agrees  
               to complete the approved curriculum as specified above  
               during the period of temporary licensure.

           8.   Specifies that upon completion of the required  
               educational curriculum, a temporary licensee shall  
               submit an application for full licensure accompanied  
               by verification of completion of that curriculum and  
               all applicable fees.

           9.   Provides that applicants accepted into a qualifying  
               internship or residency program can also possess a  
               certificate issued by PAVE to receive a temporary  
               license. 

           10.  Provides that the state board examination shall be  
               given at least twice each year rather than only once.

           11.  Clarifies when the VMB may place on probation, revoke  
               or suspend the registration of a veterinary technician  
               or take other enforcement action as necessary against  
               a registered veterinary technician, including a  
               citation and fine.

           12.  Makes other various technical and conforming changes.  


           Comments
           
          As explained by the Western United Dairymen and the  
          California Cattlemen's Association, currently California  
          cattle producers are experiencing a shortage of food animal  
          veterinarians, which is felt in many ways.  Some are  
          experiencing delays in scheduling routine services such as  
          pregnancy checks.  Others have trouble getting routine  
          health testing, which must be completed by veterinarians  
          while other may be experiencing delays in other types of  







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          treatment areas.  The Sponsors argue that this bill would  
          help alleviate this pressure by streamlining the process by  
          which veterinarians are able to become licensed to practice  
          in California.

          The food animal veterinarian shortage not only has a direct  
          impact in livestock production, but it also impacts state  
          and federal agencies.  Both the California Department of  
          Food and Agriculture and the United States Department of  
          Agriculture hires food animal veterinarians to work in  
          their food safety and inspection programs.  The Sponsors  
          state that this bill is also an important first step in  
          ensuring we have the necessary food animal veterinarians  
          needed to perform vital services.  As indicated by the  
          Sponsors, food animal veterinarians play an important role  
          and it is critical we work to alleviate the shortage in  
          California to ensure good animal and related health care. 

          According to the author's office, this bill authorizes the  
          VMB to offer the licensing examination at least twice a  
          year, which would allow a greater number of candidates to  
          test for their license.  The bill would also provide  
          different paths for licensed veterinarians from other  
          states to receive reciprocity.  There are those  
          veterinarians who could apply for a license in California  
          and continue to practice in their state of origin and then  
          once they met all requirements, including educational  
          curriculum on regionally specific and important diseases of  
          California, they would qualify for full licensure.  Others  
          who wish to practice immediately in California would still  
          be able to obtain a temporary license and practice under  
          the supervision of a California licensed veterinarian while  
          they are meeting the educational curriculum requirements.

           Prior Legislation  

          This bill is almost identical to AB 1760 (Galgiani) from  
          2008, that was vetoed due to the late passage of the  
          2008-2009 Budget.  In the message the Governor wrote, "I am  
          only signing bills that are the highest priority for  
          California.  This bill does not meet this standard and I  
          cannot sign it at this time."   

          SB 1205 (Aanestad) would have established an advisory  







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          committee to the VMB to make recommendations to the VMB  
          regarding the implementation of rules and regulations by  
          the VMB; make changes to the registered veterinary  
          technicians committee; clarify that the equivalent of  
          education considered by the VMB must be educational or a  
          combination of education and clinical experience;  
          prioritized cases handled by the VMB for purposes of  
          investigation and prosecution; provided reasonable  
          opportunity for a veterinarian to comply with any  
          deficiencies found during the VMB's inspection of their  
          premises; and, allowed the VMB to cite for minor  
          infractions, rather than for negligence when a minor  
          violation occurred.  This measure failed passage in this  
          Committee on April 14, 2008.   

          SB 1584 (Padilla), Chapter 529, Statutes of 2008, included  
          language similar to SB 1205 (Aanestad) and also allowed for  
          an increase in the maximum amounts that the VMB may set for  
          certain specified fees; deleted the provision of existing  
          law requiring the VMB to set and collect a fee for the  
          national licensing examination; required an application fee  
          to be paid by a school or institution seeking approval of  
          RVT curriculum. 

          SB 969 (Aanestad, 2007) provided similar changes related to  
          reciprocity and temporary licensing requirements for  
          out-of-state veterinarians.  This language was removed from  
          the measure in Senate Appropriations Committee.  There was  
          concern over a fee increase for the examination and the  
          temporary license which would be necessary to cover the  
          workload of the VMB.

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

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  Yes   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:







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                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions                2009-10     2010-11     
           2011-12   Fund  
          Veterinarian exam and         $110      $68        
          $68Special*
            licensing requirements

          (revenue)                ($25)          ($25)      
          ($50)Special**

          * Veterinary Medical Board Contingent Fund
          **Veterinary Medical Board Contingent Fund - $50 annually,  
            ongoing from an increase in licensure of out-of-state  
            veterinarians. 

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  6/30/09)

          Western United Dairyman (source) 
          California Cattlemen's Association (source) 
          California Farm Bureau Federation
          California Veterinary Medical Board
          California Veterinary Medical Association


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Beall, Bill  
            Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block, Blumenfield,  
            Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero, Charles Calderon, Carter,  
            Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon,  
            DeVore, Duvall, Emmerson, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fletcher,  
            Fong, Fuentes, Fuller, Furutani, Gaines, Galgiani,  
            Garrick, Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill,  
            Huber, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Krekorian, Lieu,  
            Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Miller, Monning,  
            Nava, Nestande, Niello, Nielsen, John A. Perez, V. Manuel  
            Perez, Portantino, Price, Ruskin, Salas, Saldana, Silva,  
            Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Audra Strickland, Swanson,  
            Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran, Villines, Yamada, Bass
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Harkey


          JA:nl  6/30/09   Senate Floor Analyses 







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                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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