BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 543|
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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS


          Bill No:  SB 543
          Author:   Steinberg (D) and Price (D), et al.
          Amended:  9/2/11
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE BUSINESS, PROF & ECON DEVELOP COMM  :  9-0, 05/02/11
          AYES:  Price, Emmerson, Corbett, Correa, Hernandez, Negrete 
            McLeod, Vargas, Walters, Wyland

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  9-0, 05/16/11
          AYES:  Kehoe, Walters, Alquist, Emmerson, Lieu, Pavley, 
            Price, Runner, Steinberg

           SENATE FLOOR  :  37-1, 05/31/11
          AYES:  Alquist, Blakeslee, Calderon, Cannella, Corbett, De 
            León, DeSaulnier, Dutton, Emmerson, Evans, Fuller, 
            Gaines, Hancock, Harman, Hernandez, Huff, Kehoe, La 
            Malfa, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Lowenthal, Negrete McLeod, 
            Padilla, Pavley, Price, Rubio, Runner, Simitian, 
            Steinberg, Strickland, Vargas, Walters, Wolk, Wright, 
            Wyland, Yee
          NOES:  Anderson
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Berryhill, Correa

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  Not available


           SUBJECT  :    Business and professions:  regulatory boards

           SOURCE  :     Author


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           DIGEST  :    This bill extends the sunset date of a number of 
          boards, committees and commissions within the Department of 
          Consumer Affairs (DCA) and makes programmatic and 
          administrative changes to some of these entities.

           Assembly Amendments  :  1) add provisions to the bill 
          relating to the California Board of Accountancy, and the 
          Professional Fiduciaries Bureau, and the Physical Therapy 
          Board, and 2) authorizes the Department of Finance (DOF) to 
          augment the budgets of the boards, bureaus and other 
          entities that comprise the Department of Consumers Affairs 
          for expenditure of non-General Fund moneys to pay BreEZe 
          project costs, as specified, limit the fingerprinting 
          requirements for the Board of Professional Engineers, Land 
          Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG) to initial applicants 
          who have never been registered or licensed by BPELSG or to 
          applicants for a new licensure or registration category, 
          add Senator Steinberg as the bill's lead author, and add 
          double-jointing language with SB 933 (Runner).

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law:

             1.   Provides for the licensing and regulation of 
               various professions and businesses by some 23 boards, 
               4 committees, 8 bureaus, and 1 commission within the 
               Department of Consumer Affairs under various Business 
               and Professions Code licensing acts.

             2.   Requires the licensing applicants of specified 
               boards to submit a full set of fingerprints for the 
               purposes of conducting criminal history record checks, 
               and authorizes the licensing boards to obtain and 
               receive, at its discretion, criminal history 
               information from the Department of Justice and the 
               Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The boards subject 
               to this requirement are: 

                 California Board of Accountancy
                 State Athletic Commission
                 Board of Behavioral Sciences
                 Court Reporters Board
                 State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind
                 California State Board of Pharmacy
                 Board of Registered Nursing

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                 Veterinary Medical Board
                 Registered Veterinary Technician Committee
                 Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric 
               Technicians
                 Respiratory Care Board of California
                 Hearing Aid Dispensers Advisory Commission
                 Physical Therapy Board
                 Physician Assistant Committee of the Medical Board 
               of California
                 Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board
                 Medical Board of California
                 State Board of Optometry
                 Acupuncture Board
                 Cemetery and Funeral Bureau
                 Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
                 Division of Investigation
                 Board of Psychology
                 The California Board of Occupational Therapy
                 Structural Pest Control Board
                 Contractors State License Board
                 Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine
                 The Professional Fiduciaries Bureau  

             1.   Establishes the California Architects Board (CAB) 
               until January 1, 2012. 

             2.   Authorizes CAB to appoint an Executive Officer (EO) 
               until January 1, 2012. 

             3.   Authorizes the CAB to regulate and implement an 
               intern development program until January 1, 2012. 

             4.   Specifies that licenses issued or renewed by CAB 
               expire at 12 midnight on the last day of the birth 
               month of the license holder in each odd numbered year 
               following the issuance or renewal of the license.  
               Clarifies that to renew an unexpired license, the 
               license holder shall apply for renewal before the time 
               at which the license would otherwise expire. 

             5.   Establishes the Landscape Architects Technical 
               Committee (LATC) under CAB until January 1, 2012 and 
               authorizes LATC to:  assist CAB in the examination of 
               candidates for a landscape architect's license; 

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               investigate, assist and make recommendations to CAB 
               about the regulation of landscape architects; perform 
               delegated duties and functions and; send a 
               representative to CAB meetings to report on 
               activities. 

             6.   Establishes BPELSG until January 1, 2012. 

             7.   Authorizes BPELSG to appoint an EO until January 1, 
               2012. 

             8.   Prohibits use of the title "structural engineer" by 
               any person unless he or she is a licensed civil 
               engineer in California and has been deemed qualified 
               as a structural engineer according to rules and 
               regulations established by BPELSG. 

             9.   Specifies that an applicant to use the title 
               "structural engineer" must pass a written exam that 
               incorporates a national exam by a nationally 
               recognized entity approved by BPELSG and must pass a 
               supplemental California specific exam that tests the 
               applicant's knowledge of state laws, rules and 
               regulations, seismicity and structural engineering 
               unique to this state.  

             10.  Creates the Professional Engineer and Land 
               Surveyor's Fund.  

             11.  Establishes the Contractors State License Board 
               (CSLB), subject to review by DCA limited only to 
               unresolved issues identified by the Joint Committee on 
               Boards, Commissions and Consumer Protection, until 
               January 1, 2012. 

             12.  Authorizes CSLB to appoint, with DCA director 
               approval, a registrar of contractors as EO until 
               January 1, 2012. 

             13.  Establishes the Guide Dog Board until January 1, 
               2012.

             14.  Establishes a pilot project for arbitration of 
               disputes between dog users and dog schools over 

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               continued custody and use of dogs until January 1, 
               2012.

             15.  Establishes the Geologists and Geophysics Fund. 

             16.  Requires applicants for registration as a geologist 
               to pay an exam fee set by the board, not to exceed 
               $450. 

             17.  Establishes BPELSG as the entity responsible for 
               carrying out the Professional Land Surveyors Act until 
               January 1, 2012. 

             18.  Establishes the Commission until January 1, 2012. 

             19.  Requires the Commission to provide a report to the 
               Legislature by July 30, 2010 on the condition of the 
               Neurological Examination Account and the Boxers' 
               Pension Fund.

          This bill:

             1.   Adds BPELSG to the list of specified boards whose 
               licensing applicants must submit a full set of 
               fingerprints for the purposes of conducting criminal 
               history record checks.  This requirement is limited to 
               initial applicants who have never been registered or 
               licensed by BPELSG or to applicants for a new 
               licensure or registration category. 

             2.   Authorizes DOF to augment the budgets of the 
               boards, bureaus and other entities that comprise DCA 
               for expenditure of non-General Fund moneys to pay 
               BreEZe project costs, as specified. At least 30-days 
               written notice must be made to the Legislature, as 
               specified, before any augmentation may be made. The 
               amount of funds augmented shall be consistent with 
               project cost increases approved by the Secretary of 
               California Technology, as specified. This provision 
               becomes inoperative when the Budget Act of 2012 is 
               enacted. 

             3.   Provides that no physical therapist shall be 
               subject to discipline by the Physical Therapy Board of 

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               California (PT Board) for providing physical therapy 
               services as a professional employee of a medical 
               corporation, podiatric medical corporation or 
               chiropractic corporation. This provision shall not be 
               construed to imply or suggest that a physical 
               therapist providing physical therapy services as a 
               professional employee of these types of corporations 
               is in violation of or compliance with the law, and 
               sunsets January 1, 2013. 

             4.   Extends the operation of the California Board of 
               Accountancy (CBA) and related provisions until January 
               1, 2016, and subjects CBA to review by the appropriate 
               policy committees of the Legislature. 

             5.   Provides that any restatement of a financial 
               statement that is included in any report filed with 
               the United States Securities and Exchange Commission 
               shall be exempt from existing law requiring an 
               accountant licensee to report to CBA any restatement 
               of a financial statement and related disclosures by a 
               client audited by the licensee. 

             6.   Deletes the repeal date of CBA's peer review 
               program and its peer review oversight committee. 

             7.   Extends to January 1, 2015, the date by which CBA 
               must submit a report to the Legislature and the 
               Governor regarding peer review requirements and 
               revises the contents of the report, as specified. 

             8.   Extends the operation of CAB and related provisions 
               until January 1, 2016, and removes the July 1, 2012, 
               sunset date of CAB's authority to implement an intern 
               development program, granting CAB permanent authority 
               to do so. 

             9.   Extends the operation of LATC and related 
               provisions until January 1, 2016. 

             10.  Extends the operation of the Professional 
               Fiduciaries Bureau, until January 1, 2015, and 
               subjects the Bureau to review by the appropriate 
               policy committees of the Legislature. 

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             11.  Extends the operation of BPELSG and related 
               provisions until January 1, 2016, and subjects BPELSG 
               to review by the appropriate policy committees of the 
               Legislature. 

             12.  Extends the operation of CSLB and related 
               provisions until January 1, 2016, and subjects CSLB to 
               review by the appropriate policy committees of the 
               Legislature. 

             13.  Extends the operation of the State Board of Guide 
               Dogs for the Blind and related provisions, including a 
               pilot project to resolve disputes between guide dog 
               users and guide dog schools, until January 1, 2014, 
               and subjects the Board to review by the appropriate 
               policy committees of the Legislature. 

             14.  Deletes the $450 cap on the examination fee for 
               registration as a geologist, maintaining the BPELSG's 
               authority to set the fee at an amount equal to the 
               actual cost of administering the examination. 

             15.  Extends the operation of the State Athletic 
               Commission and related provisions until January 1, 
               2014, and subjects the Commission to review by the 
               appropriate policy committees of the Legislature. 

             16.  Extends to July 30, 2012, the date by which the 
               Commission must provide a report to the Governor and 
               the Legislature on the condition of the Neurological 
               Examination Account and the Boxers' Pension Fund. 

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

          According to Assembly Appropriations Committee: 

          1.Providing DOF with the authority to augment the budgets 
            of various boards in order to fund early phases of the 
            BreEZe project will likely result in $2 to $4 million in 
            funding for the automation project in 2012. When 
            completed, that project is estimated to cost 
            approximately $50 million. 

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          2.One-time costs between $450,000 and $580,000 for the 
            workload associated with requiring current Board for 
            Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists 
            licensees to submit fingerprints for a criminal history 
            record check. (Professional Engineers', Land Surveyors', 
            Geologists' and Geophysicists' Fund). 

          3.On-going costs of approximately $150,000 per year for the 
            costs associated with requiring licensing applicants to 
            submit fingerprints for background checks. The costs are 
            primarily associated with investigating applicants who 
            have a criminal conviction. Costs for the BPELSG would be 
            in excess of $60,000 annual and costs for the Attorney 
            General's Office of Administrative Hearings could range 
            from $50,000 to $100,000 per year. (Professional 
            Engineers', Land Surveyors', Geologists' and 
            Geophysicists' Fund). 

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  9/7/11)

          American Society of Landscape Architects
          American Council of Engineering Companies of California
          Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and 
          Geologists
          California Landscape Contractors Association
          California State Pipe Trades Council
          Contractors State License Board
          Engineering and Utility Contractors Association
          Golden State Builders Exchanges
          Guide Dog Users, Inc.
          Guide Dogs of America
          International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
          Professional Fiduciaries Association of California
          State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind
          Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  9/7/11)

          California Physical Therapy Association

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The Contractors State License 
          Board (CSLB) writes in support of SB 543, noting that "CSLB 
          believes we are working hard to fulfill our consumer 

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          protection mandate, and we look forward to continuing to 
          work with the Legislature, consumers and other interested 
          parties to further our efforts."

          The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) 
          believes that CSLB has made remarkable progress in its 
          mission to protect consumers and provide contractors with a 
          fair and competitive marketplace for their services.  CLCA 
          states that allowing CSLB to sunset and be replaced by a 
          bureau would be step backward and a serious blow to open 
          and responsive governance of the construction industry.  

          Guide Dog Users Inc., Guide Dog Users of America and the 
          State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind write in support of 
          extending the date of operation for the Guide Dog Board, 
          noting that the Board provides important services to 
          licensed instructors and visually impaired consumers.  
          Supporters believe that the work of the Guide Dog Board has 
          resulted in improved training standards for training of 
          guide dogs for the blind and an improved process for 
          licensing dog trainers and that it is important for the 
          Board to continue providing consumer protection.  

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION :    The California Physical Therapy 
          Association (CPTA) states in opposition, "As you are aware, 
          there has been quite a battle this past year over AB 783, 
          which sought to legalize that employment of physical 
          therapists by medical and podiatric corporations and SB 
          924, which sought to give consumers direct access to 
          physical therapist services just as is done in all of the 
          western states surrounding California.  CPTA strongly 
          opposed AB 783 because the real intent of this legislation 
          was to legalize medical, chiropractic, and podiatric 
          medical corporations in employing physical therapists.  In 
          effect, under this legislation, medical corporations could 
          control the point of access to physical therapist services 
          and then refer patients only to themselves.  This poses an 
          inherent conflict of interest, removes choice for the 
          consumer, and runs counter to studies showing that 
          self-referral by physicians to services in which they have 
          an ownership interest results in unnecessary and inadequate 
          care and higher costs for both consumers and payers.  The 
          amendments to SB 543 grant leverage to the medical 
          corporations and their activities relative to any future 

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          outcome on these issues, while also giving them another 
          year to operate outside the boundaries of the law.  At a 
          minimum, they get to continue a scheme that shows up time 
          and time again as taking way more dollars out the health 
          care delivery system than is necessary and provides 
          inadequate care."


          JJA:nl  9/8/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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