BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







         ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 
        |Hearing Date:June 3, 2013          |Bill No:AB                         |
        |                                   |404                                |
         ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 


                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS 
                               AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
                          Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., Chair
                                           

                          Bill No:        AB 404Author:Eggman
                     As Introduced: February 15, 2013   Fiscal:Yes

        
        SUBJECT:  Healing arts:  behavioral sciences:  retired licenses. 
        
        SUMMARY:  Clarifies who qualifies for a retired license by specifying  
        that a license must be either active or inactive, and reduces the  
        timeline to restore a retired license from retired to active status  
        from five to three years.

        Existing law:
        
        1)Provides for the licensure of Licensed Marriage and Family  
          Therapists (LMFTs), Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEPs),  
          Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), and Licensed Professional  
          Clinical Counselors (LPCCs) by the Board of Behavioral Sciences  
          (BBS) within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).  (Business  
          and Professions Code (BPC) 
         4990.18)

        2)Permits the BBS, upon application and payment of a fee to issue a  
          retired license to a LMFT, LEP, 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  





                                                                         AB 404
                                                                         Page 2



          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)

        This bill:

       1)Permits the BBS to issue, upon application and payment of a fee, a  
          retired license to a LMFT, LCSW, LEP or LPCC if the applicant holds  
          a current and active or inactive license.

       2)Reduces the number years from 5 to 3 years for a LMFT, LCSW, LEP or  
          LPCC, who holds a retired license, to apply to have his or her  
          license restored to active status.

       3)Specifies that the applicant is only eligible for a retired license  
          if the applicant is not subject to disciplinary action and if their  
          license has not been suspended, revoked or restricted by the BBS.

       4)Further specifies that the applicant must pay renewal fees, comply  
          with continuing education requirements and submit fingerprints to  
          the BBS.

       5)Exempts an applicant who holds a retired license from re-applying for  
          licensure or re-taking the licensure examinations. 

        FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee  
        analysis dated April 10, 2013, this bill would result in negligible  
        costs to the BBS.

        COMMENTS:
        
        1. Purpose.  This bill is sponsored by the  Board of Behavioral  





                                                                         AB 404
                                                                         Page 3



           Sciences  .  According to the Author, current law states that retired  
           licenses are only to be granted to those licensees who have a  
           current 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 at some  
           point in time.  However, current law also states that an applicant  
           for a retired license may not have their license suspended,  
           revoked, or have any type of disciplinary action.  This had led to  
           uncertainty on the part of the BBS because they are unsure of who  
           may actually qualify for a retired license.  This bill will clarify  
           that only those applicants who either have a current active license  
           or an inactive license that is not suspended, revoked, or in  
           disciplinary status may apply for a retired license.

           This bill also reduces the number of years a retiree has to  
           reactivate their license if they wish to practice.  The current  
           timelines for a licensee to reactivate their active license if they  
           have an expired license or a retired license do not match.  A  
           licensee with an expired license has three years before they are  
           unable to reinstate their active license.  In contrast, a retired  
           licensee has up to 5 years before they must renew their active  
           license.  This bill will align the timelines for the purpose of  
           consistency.

        2. Background.   Non-Active Licenses  .  Non-active licenses include  
           retired, inactive and delinquent/expired licenses.  A holder of  
           these types of licenses is not permitted to engage in any activity  
           for which an active license issued by the BBS is required.

            Retired License.  Retired licenses are provided to those licensees  
           who no longer wish to practice their profession, but still desire  
           to reference their professional title.  In addition, a retired  
           license does not need to be renewed.  Effective January 1, 2011, a  
           licensee of the BBS may apply for a retired license if the  
           following conditions are met: 

              1)      The license is current and active, or capable of being  
                renewed;
              2)      The license is not suspended, revoked or otherwise  
                punitively restricted by the BBS or subject to disciplinary  
                action;
              3)      The person holding the retired license will not engage  
                in any activity for which an active license issued by the BBS  
                is required; and,
              4)      The retired license fee of $40.00 is paid.





                                                                         AB 404
                                                                         Page 4




            Inactive License.  An inactive license does not permit the licensee  
           to engage in practice.  Licensees with an inactive license may  
           reactivate the license or apply for retired license status if the  
           license is eligible for renewal.  

           Delinquent/Expired License.   If an individual's license is  
           delinquent, all outstanding requirements for renewal must be met  
           before an application for retired status can be processed.  

           Restoring a Retired License to Active Status.   A person requesting  
           to restore his or her retired license to active status whose  
           retired license was issued  1 or more years ago  must complete 36  
           hours of continuing education as required by their licensing law.

           If retired license was issued  less than 1 year ago  , the applicant  
           must complete 18 hours of continuing education as required by their  
           licensing law.

           If the retired license was issued  less than 5 years ago  , the  
           applicant must meet the following requirements: 

              1)      No crime constituting grounds for license denial has  
                been committed;
              2)      The prescribed renewal fee is paid;
              3)      All required continuing education is completed; and
              4)      Fingerprints are submitted as required by the Board.

           If the retired license was issued  5 or more years ago  , the  
           applicant must meet the following requirements: 

              1)      No crime constituting grounds for license denial has  
                been committed;
              2)      Licensure must be applied for and the prescribed renewal  
                fee paid;
              3)      The required licensing examinations are passed; and,
              4)      Fingerprints are submitted as required by the Board.

            Restoring an Inactive License to Active Status.  In order for an  
           applicant to restore an inactive license to active status, the  
           applicant must pay the biennial renewal fee, equal to one-half of  
           the standard renewal fee, and complete continuing education  
           requirements.
            
        1. Arguments in Support.  The  BBS  supports the bill and notes in their  
           letter, "The use of the term 'current and active or capable of  





                                                                         AB 404
                                                                         Page 5



           being renewed' in law has been a source of confusion for licensees  
           and the BBS staff since the retired license law went into effect in  
           2011?In addition, current law allows a holder of a retired licensee  
           to apply to restore his or her license to active status if he or  
           she was issued the retired license less than five years ago.  This  
           law is inconsistent with the law regarding renewal of an expired  
           license." 

           The  California Division of the American Association for Marriage  
           and Family Therapy  , the  California Association of Marriage and  
           Family Therapists  , the  California Association for Licensed  
           Professional Clinical Counselors  and the  National Association of  
           Social Workers-California Chapter  also support the bill.  They  
           indicate that the bill will correct ambiguity in current law  
           regarding who may apply for a retired license and reduce the time  
           period to restore a retired license to active status in order to be  
           consistent with the renewal period of a license that has expired. 

        4. Prior Legislation.   AB 431  (Ma, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2011)  
        authorized the California 
           Board of Accountancy to establish a retired status license for  
           certified public accountants and public accountants.  

            AB 2191  (Emmerson, Chapter 548, Statutes of 2010), required the BBS  
           to issue a retired license to LMFT, LEP, LCSW and LPCCs.

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

            AB 2848  (Hernandez, 2008) would have allowed optometrists to apply  
           for a retired license.  This bill was held on the Senate Floor.

        
        SUPPORT AND OPPOSITION:
        
         Support:  

        Board of Behavioral Sciences (sponsor)
        California Division of the American Association for Marriage and  
        Family Therapy
        California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
        California Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors
        National Association of Social Workers-California Chapter






                                                                         AB 404
                                                                         Page 6



         Opposition:  

        None received as of May 28, 2013. 



        Consultant:Le Ondra Clark, Ph.D.