BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1431
          Author:   Hill (D)
          Amended:  8/30/10 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE BUS., PROF. & ECON. DEVEL. COMMITTEE  :  8-0, 3/22/10
          AYES:  Negrete McLeod, Wyland, Aanestad, Correa, Florez,  
            Oropeza, Walters, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Calderon

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  68-0, 1/27/10 (Consent) - See last page  
            for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Geologists and geophysicists

           SOURCE  :     Professional Engineers in California Government


           DIGEST  :    This bill renames the Board for Professional  
          Engineers and Land Surveyors, and increases the Board  
          membership from 13 to 15 by adding a licensed geologist or  
          geophysicist to the Board, and one public member.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 8/30/10 add double-jointing  
          language with 
          SB 294 (Negrete McLeod).

           ANALYSIS  :    

                                                           CONTINUED





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           Existing law  

          1. Licenses and regulates engineers and land surveyors by  
             the Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors  
             (Board) within the Department of Consumer Affairs.

          2. Provides that the Board is made up of 13 members,  
             consisting of six professional members (five engineers  
             and one land surveyor) and seven public members.

          A. The Governor appoints five public members and the six  
             professional members.

          B. The Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the  
             Assembly each appoint a public member.

          3. Establishes, effective October 23, 2009, that the Board  
             shall succeed to and is vested with all the duties,  
             powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction  
             previously vested in the Board for Geologists and  
             Geophysicists (BGG), thereby requiring the Board to  
             administer the Geologists and Geophysicists Act.

          This bill:

          1. Renames the Board as the Board for Professional  
             Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists.

          2. Increases the membership of the Board from 13 to 15 by  
             adding a professional member licensed under the  
             Geologist and Geophysicist Act, and one public member  
             appointed by the Governor.

          3. Makes technical, conforming and clarifying changes.

           Background
           
           Hearing on Governor's Elimination, Consolidation and  
          Reorganization Proposals  .  In the summer of 2009, the  
          Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development  
          Committee (Committee) convened a hearing on the Governor's  
          Elimination, Consolidation and Reorganization Proposals  
          made in the May Revision of the 2009-2010 State Budget.   
          The Budget Conference Committee had requested that the  







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          Committee consider a number of the specific elimination,  
          consolidation and reorganization proposals made by the  
          Governor, as well as other consolidation proposals  
          identified by the Committee.  In the hearing, the Committee  
          received testimony from the Administration, the  
          departments, boards and bureaus that will be affected by  
          the proposed changes, the Legislative Analyst's Office  
          (LAO), the Center for Public Interest Law, professional  
          associations, members of the regulated professions, and  
          members of the public.  The Committee made its  
          recommendations in a Report to the Conference Committee.   
          Those recommendations and the legislative changes necessary  
          to implement the recommendations were the bases for ABX4 20  
          (Strickland), Chapter 18, Statutes of 2009.

          At that hearing, the Committee considered 13 separate  
          consolidation or elimination proposals, including whether  
          the BGG should be consolidated with the State Mining and  
          Geology Board.  That proposal was approved on an 8-1 vote.   
          Ultimately, during Budget negotiations, that recommendation  
          was modified to consolidate the Board of Geologists and  
          Geophysicists with the Board for Professional Engineers and  
          Land Surveyors.  Those changes were included in ABX4 20.

           Background on Consolidation Efforts  .  Over that last  
          fifteen years, a number of efforts have been made to merge  
          or consolidate the BGG into other regulatory agencies.  In  
          1994, the Senate Business and Professions Committee  
          initially reviewed whether the BGG should be merged with  
          another entity including the Board.  At that time, no  
          changes were made to BGG.  In 1996 and again in 1999, the  
          Joint Legislative Sunset Review Committee (Sunset Review  
          Committee) and DCA reviewed the Geology Board and both DCA  
          and the Sunset Review Committee recommended BGG be  
          continued as an independent board and not be combined with  
          any other entity.

          In 2004, the Governor's California Performance Review (CPR)  
          recommendation was to combine BGG with the Board of Mining  
          and Geology and place the new board under the Division of  
          Land Management within the proposed new Department of  
          Natural Resources.  LAO and the Administration's CPR  
          Commission rejected this proposal.  The Governor's  
          Reorganization Plan which included converting the BGG to a  







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          bureau was rejected by the Legislature, and ultimately  
          withdrawn by the Administration.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/30/10)

          Professional Engineers in California Government (source)
          Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  6/16/10)

          Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The sponsor argues in support that  
          changing the makeup and name of the Board is good policy  
          and common sense so that the title reflects the professions  
          the Board is licensing.  The sponsor further believes that  
          fairness and common sense requires that the Board include  
          at least one licensee.  It is not reasonable for a Board to  
          oversee a profession without any professional  
          representation of that profession, according to the  
          sponsor.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The Association of  
          Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) has taken an  
          oppose unless amended position on the bill, urging that the  
          bill be amended to:  (1) maintain the number of Board  
          members at 13 members, the current level; (2) add one  
          geophysicist to the Board; (3) add "Geophysicist" to the  
          name of the Board; (4) revise Business and Professions Code  
          Section 6712 to make conforming changes regarding the  
          Governor's authority to appoint the new Board members.  

          AEG believes increasing the size of the Board will result  
          in decreased efficiency, and suggests that the Board remain  
          at the current level of 13 members by exchanging the two  
          title act positions currently on the Board (one structural  
          engineer; one of the remaining branches of engineering)  
          with two Geologist and Geophysicist Act licensees.

          AEG further argues that as a title act license, the  
          practice of structural engineering does not require a  







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          structural engineer license; and the same is true for the  
          remaining branches of engineering, other than civil,  
          mechanical, and electrical, but the practice of geology and  
          geophysics does require a license in California.  According  
          to AEG, practice acts exist because the public and the  
          Legislature have determined that licensure of those  
          professions is necessary for public protection; and it  
          therefore follows that "a board's professional members must  
          be licensed under the board's practice acts in order for  
          those members to be considered qualified to address public  
          safety-related issues related to their profession."

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


          JJA:do  8/30/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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