BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 475
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   July 1, 2009 

                                Kevin De Leon, Chair

                SB 475 (Padilla) - As Introduced:  February 26, 2009  

          Policy Committee:                              Business &  
          Professions  Vote:                            11-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              


          This bill increases the annual fee renewal maximum for guide dog  
          schools from four-tenths of a percent (.004) to five-tenths of a  
          percent (.005) of a school's annual expenses and requires the  
          State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind (Board) to establish the  
          precise fee in regulation. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          An increase in annual fee-supported special fund revenues of  
          between $8,000 and $35,000 to be used to support the workload of  
          the Board. 


           1)Rationale  . This bill is sponsored by the State Board of Guide  
            Dogs for the Blind to increase the annual fee renewal limit to  
            one-half of a percent. The Board licenses and regulates  
            schools that train dogs used to assist visually impaired  
            individuals. This bill allows the Board to continue to collect  
            fee revenues that fully support the workload of the Board.  
            Guide dogs are used by about 2,000 Californians and of the  
            guide dogs trained nationally, 20% of the dog handlers reside  
            in California. 

           2)Background  . According to the author and sponsor, this bill  
            addresses a shortfall that has recently been created. One of  
            the schools that train dogs in several states asked the  
            California Board for a recalculation of annual expenses to  
            account for out-of-state business expenses. This issue was  
            reviewed by counsel at the Department of Consumer Affairs who  


                                                                  SB 475
                                                                  Page  2

            affirmed the reduction in license renewal fees for this  
            particular school. As a result, the special fund fee revenues  
            have dropped and a shortfall has been created. This bill  
            increases the maximum fee to give the Board flexibility to  
            address this funding reduction. 


          Analysis Prepared by  :    Mary Ader / APPR. / (916) 319-2081