BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1996
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   March 23, 2010

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                  AB 1996 (Hill) - As Introduced:  February 17, 2010
          SUBJECT  :   Chiropractors:  license renewal fee.

           SUMMARY :   Increases the chiropractic license renewal fee from  
          $150 to between $200 and $350, as determined by the State Board  
          of Chiropractic Examiners (BCE).  

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides for the licensure and regulation of chiropractors by  
            BCE. Under the Chiropractic Act (Act), each licensed person  
            practicing chiropractic is annually required to pay BCE a  
            renewal fee not exceeding $150, as determined by BCE. 

          2)Requires statutory authorization to increase license fees. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           Purpose of this bill  .  According to the author's office, "BCE  
          has implemented significant consumer protection changes that are  
          necessary to fulfill its consumer protection mandate.  For  
          example, in 2008, the BCE expanded its enforcement program to  
          include a permanent field investigation and inspection program.   
          Continued improvements to investigations are very important for  
          consumer protection, but require resources.

          "With these necessary enhancements in the BCE's enforcement  
          program and the increase in costs of doing business, the BCE's  
          current revenue is inadequate to pay for the level of service  
          that is needed to protect consumers.  The BCE expends  
          approximately 70% of its operating budget on enforcement.  If  
          the renewal fee remains at its current level, the BCE's fund  
          will be insolvent in FY 2010-11, and the BCE will be forced to  
          make drastic cuts to its enforcement program."

           Background  .  The BCE was created on December 21, 1922 by  
          initiative.  Governed by a seven member board appointed by the  
          Governor, BCE is comprised of five licensed doctors of  


                                                                  AB 1996
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          chiropractic and two public members.  BCE regulates the  
          chiropractic profession in California, protecting Californians  
          from licensed and unlicensed individuals who engage in  
          fraudulent, negligent, or incompetent practice.  The BCE  
          oversees approximately 14,000 licensees and 18 chiropractic  
          schools and colleges located throughout the United States and  
          The BCE's annual budget is funded exclusively by the profession  
          through licensing and other regulatory fees.  The BCE allocates  
          approximately 70% of its total operating budget to enforcement  
          related activities. 

          The BCE has not raised fees since 1991, and though BCE comes in  
          under budget each year, expenditures currently exceed revenue by  
          approximately $1 million.  Expenditures will increase further as  
          the BCE fully implements its newly expanded enforcement program.  

          This bill would increase the renewal fee from $150 to a range  
          between $200 and $350, as determined by BCE.  According to its  
          executive officer, BCE needs a $75 fee increase to bring revenue  
          and expenditures into alignment for the immediate future.  BCE  
          is considering implementing a stepped increase until it reaches  
          sustainable revenue and a prudent reserve.      

           Opposition  .  The California Chiropractic Association (CCA)  
          writes, "The chiropractic profession has been hit especially  
          hard by this recession because of many compounding factors.   
          Group health reimbursement rates have gone down since BCE last  
          raised its rates in 1991, not up.  Workers' compensation law  
          changes in 2004 have resulted in a 70-80% reduction in  
          chiropractic utilization.  Medicare rates will be reduced an  
          additional 21% by the end of this month unless Congress acts to  
          stop the fee decrease.  CCA members plainly can't afford to have  
          their relicensure fee increased up to 133% during this  

          "The operating deficit is a result of the expanded enforcement  
          program that has benefited the profession and the public and is  
          being used as a model for other licensing boards.  Although CCA  
          understands the need for a fee increase to address the immediate  
          deficit, we oppose any delegation of legislative authority that  
          allows the BCE to raise relicensure fees up to $350 per year."


                                                                  AB 1996
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          Board of Chiropractic Examiners (sponsor)

          California Chiropractic Association
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Sarah Huchel / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301