BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

          SB 969 (Vargas) - Pet groomers.
          Amended: April 26, 2012         Policy Vote: BP&ED 5-3
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: Yes
          Hearing Date: May 14, 2012      Consultant: Jennifer Douglas
          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the 
          Suspense File.

          Bill Summary: SB 969 would establish a certification program for 
          pet groomers and would create the California Pet Grooming 
          Council (council) as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization for the 
          purpose of certifying pet groomers and pet bathers and brushers 
          who meet specified education, examination, training and 
          experience requirements.  This bill also specifies that it is an 
          unfair business practice for anyone to call themselves a 
          "certified pet groomer" or a "certified pet bather and brusher" 
          unless they have been certified by the council.

          Fiscal Impact: 
              California Pet Grooming Council, tax-exempt nonprofit 
              organization, non-governmental funds.
              Unknown enforcement costs to Department of Justice (DOJ), 
              likely less than $75,000 annually, based on enforcement 
              activities of other similar entities.

          Background: Existing law provides for the licensure and 
          regulation of veterinarians and registered veterinary 
          technicians by the Veterinary Medical Board.  

          Proposed Law: SB 969 would enact, until January 1, 2017, 
          provisions governing the certification of pet groomers and 
          creating the council, a nonprofit organization, to administer 
          the certification process.  This bill would establish the 
          requirements necessary to obtain a certificate as a pet groomer 
          or a pet bather and brusher and set forth the duties and 
          obligations of a certified pet groomer or a pet bather and 
          brusher, as specified.  This bill would set forth the duties of 
          the council with regard to the regulation of pet groomers and 
          pet bathers and brushers and require the board to adopt a fee 
          schedule that would apply to certificate holders.  This bill 


          SB 969 (Vargas)
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          would set forth standards for discipline and authorize the 
          council to impose administrative penalties for a violation of 
          these provisions.  This bill would also make it an unfair 
          business practice for any person engaged in pet grooming to 
          advertise or hold themselves out as a registered, certified, or 
          licensed pet groomer without being certified and regulated by 
          the council.

          Related Legislation: SB 731 (Oropeza) Chapter 384/2008 created 
          the Message Therapy Organization as a nonprofit organization and 
          provides for the certification of message therapists.  SB 731 
          served as a template for this bill.

          AB 762 (Koretz) of 2005 would have prohibited an animal groomer, 
          as defined, from engaging in the practice of veterinary 
          medicine.  The bill would also have set specified standards for 
          a person that operates an animal grooming facility and would 
          have made a person who violates those standards guilty of a 
          misdemeanor.  The bill was never heard.

          Staff Comments: As a result of the new certification process for 
          pet groomers, the number of cases sent to the DOJ for processing 
          and handling of disciplinary actions could increase.  By way of 
          comparison, disciplinary actions of cosmetologists, which have a 
          similar certification program, resulted in approximately 10-12 
          case referrals in the second year of its existence, averaging 
          $4,200 per case, or $40,000 to $50,000 in billings generated by 
          the DOJ to the agency.

          Recommended Amendments: This bill establishes the council as a 
          tax-exempt nonprofit organization.  Staff recommends this bill 
          be amended to clarify that the council may commence activity 
          once it has submitted a request to the Internal Revenue Service 
          and the Franchise Tax Board seeking this exemption.