BILL ANALYSIS Ó 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) Page 1 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.