BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1996
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          Date of Hearing:   April 13, 2010

              ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS AND CONSUMER  
                                     PROTECTION
                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                     AB 1996 (Hill) - As Amended:  April 7, 2010
           
          SUBJECT  :   Chiropractors:  license renewal fee.

           SUMMARY  :   Increases the chiropractic license renewal fee from  
          $150 to $210, effective July 1, 2011, and between $245 and $295,  
          as determined by the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners  
          (BCE), effective July 1, 2012.  

           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  








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          initiative.  Governed by a seven member board appointed by the  
          Governor, BCE is comprised of five licensed doctors of  
          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  
          Canada.
                                      
          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 increases the chiropractic license renewal fee from  
          $150 to $210, effective July 1, 2011, and between $245 and $295,  
          as determined by the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners  
          (BCE), effective July 1, 2012.  

          This bill was heard in a prior version in this committee on  
          March 23, 2010.  The previous version authorized BCE to raise  
          renewal fees to between $200 and $350.   The maximum increase  
          was opposed by the California Chiropractic Association (CCA),  
          and this version represents the compromise.  

           Support  .  "The ICAC [International Chiropractors Association of  
          California] and its members feel that the additional monies will  
          provide BCE with the resources to better enforce the laws in  
          relation to our profession, and will help the BCE perform an  
          even better job of protecting the consumers of our great state."  


           Opposition  .  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."








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           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Board of Chiropractic Examiners (sponsor)
          International Chiropractors Association of California

           Opposition 
           
          California Chiropractic Association
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Sarah Weaver / B.,P. & C.P. / (916)  
          319-3301