BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 404
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          Date of Hearing:   April 2, 2013

              ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS AND CONSUMER  
                                     PROTECTION
                              Richard S. Gordon, Chair
                 AB 404 (Eggman) - As Introduced:  February 15, 2013
           
          SUBJECT  :   Healing arts: behavioral sciences: retired licenses.

           SUMMARY  :   Reduces from five to three the number of years a  
          licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), educational  
          psychologist (EP), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and  
          licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) licensee may  
          have to restore his or her retired license to active status  
          without reapplication or re-examination, and clarifies that an  
          inactive license may be eligible for a retired license, as  
          specified.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires the Board of Behavioral Science (BBS) to issue, upon  
            application and payment of a fee, a retired license to a LMFT,  
            EP, LCSW and LPCC who holds a license that is current and  
            active or a license that is inactive, and whose license is not  
            suspended, revoked or otherwise punitively restricted by the  
            BBS or subject to disciplinary action, as specified.

          2)Permits the holder of a retired LMFT, EP, LCSW or LPCC license  
            to restore his or her license to active status if the retired  
            license was issued  less  than three years prior to the  
            application date, instead of five years under existing law,  
            and the applicant meets specified requirements including no  
            disqualifying criminal record, payment of renewal fees,  
            compliance with continuing education requirements, and  
            compliance with fingerprint submission requirements. 

          3)Permits the holder of a retired LMFT, EP, LCSW or LPCC license  
            to restore his or her license to active status if the retired  
            license was issued  more  than three years prior to the  
            application date, instead of five years under by existing law,  
            and the applicant meets specified requirements including no  
            disqualifying criminal record, application for licensure and  
            payment of the required fees, passage of the licensure  
            examination, and compliance with fingerprint submission  
            requirements. 

           EXISTING LAW  








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          1)Provides for the licensure of LMFTs, EPs, LCSWs, and LPCCs by  
            the BBS within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).  
            (Business and Professions Code (BPC) Section 4990.18)

          2)Permits the BBS, upon application and payment of a fee to  
            issue a retired license to a LMFT, EP, LCSW or LPCC who holds  
            a license that is current and active or capable of being  
            renewed, and whose license is not suspended, revoked or  
            otherwise punitively restricted by the BBS or subject to  
            disciplinary action as specified.  (BPC 4984.41, 4989.45,  
            4997.1, 4999.113)

          3)Provides that the holder of a retired license can apply to  
            restore his or her license to active status if the retired  
            license was issued  less  than five years prior to the  
            application date and the applicant meets specified  
            requirements including no disqualifying criminal record,  
            payment of renewal fees, compliance with continuing education  
            requirements, and compliance with fingerprint submission  
            requirements.  (BPC 4984.41, 4989.45, 4997.1, 4999.113)

          4)Provides that the holder of a retired license can apply to  
            restore his or her license to active status if the retired  
            license was issued  more  than five years prior to the  
            application date and the applicant meets specified  
            requirements including no disqualifying criminal record,  
            application for licensure, payment of the required fees,  
            passage of the licensure examination, and compliance with  
            fingerprint submission requirements..  (BPC 4984.41, 4989.45,  
            4997.1, 4999.113)

          5)Prohibits the holder of a retired license from engaging in any  
            activity for which an active license is required. (BPC  
            4984.41)

          6)Specifies that the holder of a retired license shall not be  
            required to renew the retired license. (BPC 4984.41, 4989.45,  
            4997.1, 4999.113)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :

           1)Purpose of this bill  .  This bill reduces the time limit, from  








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            five years to three, for a retired licensee to restore his or  
            her license to active status before the licensee is required  
            to reapply for licensure and satisfy examination requirements.  
             Currently, a license must be "current and active and capable  
            of being renewed" prior to obtaining a retired license.  This  
            bill will replace the term "capable of being renewed" with "a  
            license that is inactive" to help clarify the license status  
            an individual needs to have in order apply for a retired  
            license.  This bill is sponsored by the BBS. 

           2)Author's statement  .  According to the author, "Current law  
            states that retired licenses are only to be granted to those  
            licensees who have an active license or to a licensee who  
            potentially could have their license become active. The latter  
            implies that those who have a suspended license may apply for  
            a retired license because they potentially could have their  
            license become active.  However, current law also states that  
            an applicant for a retired license may not have their license  
            suspended, revoked, or in any type of disciplinary action.  
            This had led to uncertainty on the part of the BBS because  
            they are unsure of who actually qualifies for a retired  
            license.  This bill will clarify that only those applicants  
            who either have an active license or an inactive license that  
            is not suspended, revoked, or in disciplinary status may apply  
            for a retired license.  The benefit of obtaining a retired  
            license is that there is only a one-time fee of $40 instead of  
            a yearly fee of $75.  The BBS estimates that since 2011 they  
            have issued 584 retired licenses since they were given  
            authority to do so."

           3)Non-active licenses  . Non-active BBS licenses are generally of  
            three types: retired, inactive, and delinquent/expired. 
             
             A retired license allows a practitioner to reference his or  
            her professional title, but does not permit the licensee to  
            engage in the practice of his or her profession.  Prior to the  
            passage of AB 2191 (Emmerson), Chapter 548, Statutes of 2010,  
            a licensee regulated under BBS was unable to obtain a retired  
            license.  If a licensee wanted to retire or discontinue  
            practicing they would need to either obtain an inactive  
            license that had to be renewed biannually, or allow his or her  
            license to become delinquent and subsequently canceled after  
            three years.  Current law permits the holder of a retired  
            license to reactivate their license within five years of  
            issuance (see below) before they are subject to specified  








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            continuing education and examination requirements.  The  
            requirements for a retired license were developed to provide  
            current licensees with an option to "retire" their license as  
            opposed to their license becoming inactive or delinquent.  

            An inactive license, which must be applied for, does not  
            permit the licensee to engage in practice, but may be  
            reactivated. In order to reactivate a license, an individual  
            pays a renewal fee that is one half the cost of the standard  
            renewal fee and may not have a disqualifying criminal record.  
            The licensee is not required to take CE courses during the  
            inactive period, although the licensee will be required to  
            take between 18 to 36 hours of continuing education in order  
            to reactivate, depending on the length of time to the next  
            renewal.  

            A delinquent or expired license may be renewed at any time  
            within three years of expiration. To renew an expired license,  
            a licensee files an application for renewal, pays all the fees  
            that would have been paid if the license had not become  
            delinquent, complies with specified continuing education  
            requirements and has no disqualifying criminal record.

           4)Reactivating a retired license  .  Under current law, licensees  
            holding a retired license are required to pay a one-time fee  
            of $40 for issuance of the retired license and are exempt from  
            continuing education requirements.  Licensees may reactivate  
            their licenses within five years if they wish to practice, and  
            are then subject to continuing education requirements.  After  
            five years, licensees are required to meet specific continuing  
            education requirements, apply for licensure, and pass the  
            current examination before their license is restored to active  
            status.
             
             This bill shortens the time period for a licensee to  
            reactivate a retired license in order to be consistent with  
            the current provisions for reactivating a delinquent or  
            expired license.  Individuals holding an inactive or  
            delinquent license must reapply for licensure and pass a new  
            licensing exam after only three years.  This bill would the  
            same educational and testing timeframe for retired licensees  
            after three years.  

           5)Retired licenses under DCA  .  Existing law permits certain  
            licensing boards under DCA to issue a retired license to  








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            licensees with an active license in good standing or a license  
            that could become active again.  Other licensed professions  
            that offer a retired license, include: accountants,  
            pharmacists, architects, professional engineers and land  
            surveyors, physicians and surgeons, occupational therapists,  
            respiratory care therapists and optometrists may also be  
            issued retired licenses.

           6)Arguments in Support  .  The BBS writes in support, "The use of  
            the term 'current and active or capable of being renewed' in  
            law has been a source of confusion for licensees and [BBS]  
            staff since the retired license law went into effect in 2011.  
            For this reason the [BBS] proposes clarifying this language.   
            In addition, current law allows a holder of a retired license  
            to apply to restore his or her license to active state if he  
            or she was issued the retired license less than five years  
            ago.  The [BBS] believes three years is a sufficient time  
            frame for a licensee to change his or her mind about wanting  
            their license to have a retired status.

           7)Previous legislation  .  AB 431 (Ma), Chapter 395, Statutes of  
            2011, authorizes the California Board of Accountancy to  
            establish a retired status license for certified public  
            accountants and public accountants, as specified.  
             
             AB 2191 (Emmerson), Chapter 548, Statutes of 2010, requires  
            the BBS to issue a retired license to LMFT, EP, LCSW and LPCC,  
            as specified.

            SB 821 (Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic  
            Development), Chapter 307, Statutes of 2009, establishes a  
            retired license for occupational therapists and occupational  
            therapy assistants, among other changes. 

            AB 2848 (Hernandez) of 2008, allows optometrists to apply for  
            a retired license.  That bill was held on the Senate Floor.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Board of Behavioral Sciences (sponsor)
          American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
          California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical  
          Counselors








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          California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
          National Association of Social Workers-California Chapter

           Opposition 
           
          None on file. 
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Elissa Silva / B.,P. & C.P. / (916)  
          319-3301