BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                       AB 1685|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
                                    THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 1685
          Author:   Williams (D)
          Amended:  4/21/14 in Assembly
          Vote:     21

           SENATE BUSINESS, PROF. & ECON. DEV. COMMITTEE  :  8-0, 6/16/14
          AYES:  Lieu, Wyland, Berryhill, Block, Corbett, Galgiani, Hill,  
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Hernandez

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  6-0, 6/30/14
          AYES:  De León, Walters, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Gaines

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  72-0, 5/8/14 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Structural pest control operators:  fees

           SOURCE  :     Pest Control Operators of California

           DIGEST  :    This bill increases the statutory maximum for  
          licensure examination fees charged by the Structural Pest  
          Control Board (SPCB).

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Provides for the licensure and regulation of the practice of  
             structural pest control by SPCB.


                                                                    AB 1685

          2. Requires SPCB to examine all applicants for a license to  
             practice as an applicator, field representative, or operator  
             in any of the three branches of structural pest control and  
             apply all fees.

          3. Permits SPCB to charge a fee for examinations for the renewal  
             of licenses, but prohibits the fee from exceeding $50 per  

          4. Establishes a fee schedule for the various stages in the  
             application process, including examination fees.  The fees  
             are set at $10 for applicators, $15 for field  
             representatives, and $24 for operators.

          This bill:

          1. Authorizes a registered structural pest control company to  
             provide by electronic mail (e-mail), if an e-mail address has  
             been provided, a written notice to the owner or owner's  
             agent, and the tenant of the premises where the pest control  
             work is to be done.

          2. Removes the $15 cap on the applicator's examination fee, and  
             instead authorizes SPCB to charge a fee in an amount  
             sufficient to cover the reasonable regulatory cost of  
             administering the examination, as specified.

          3. Increases the maximum licensure examination fees as follows:

             A.    Operator examination fees from $25 to $100;
             B.    Field Representative examination fees from $15 to $75;  
             C.    Applicator examination fees from $15 to $60.

          4. Removes the $50 cap on examination fees in cases where the  
             exam is taken during the course of license renewal, and  
             instead authorizes SPCB to charge an examination fee amount  
             sufficient to cover the reasonable regulatory cost of  
             administering each exam.

          In January 2013, SPCB's examinations were compromised when  



                                                                    AB 1685

          examination participants misappropriated examination questions.   
          This subversion led to suspension of the examinations until SPCB  
          was able to draft a new examination at a cost of $41,532.   
          Computer-based testing is seen as a way to decrease the risk of  
          the occurrence of cheating. 

          Further, because SPCB currently only has two examination sites,  
          computer-based testing will improve testing availability and  
          efficacy, particularly for out-of-state candidates who will save  
          on costs associated with airfare and other travel to California  
          to take an examination.  There are currently 17 proposed  
          computer-based testing sites in California and 22 sites in other  

          Currently, SPCB is paying the increased cost for computer-based  
          testing.  However, SPCB is only authorized to incur this  
          increased cost through 2014 in anticipation that it can raise  
          the fee in 2015.  Fees assessed for these examinations will be  
          based on actual costs to administer the examinations (currently  
          $37.50 under contract with the Department Consumer Affairs and  
          an outside vendor for computer-based testing) and miscellaneous  
          costs for staffing. 

          A moderate increase in these fees to modernize testing  
          methodologies allows SPCB to more efficiently and effectively  
          offer the tests required to become a licensed operator in  

          According to the author's office, this bill helps fund the  
          implementation of computer-based testing for licensees which  
          will accomplish the following:  reduce the risk of cheating;  
          simplify test validation, scheduling and monitoring for SPCB  
          staff and examinees; and significantly increase the number of  
          examination sites in and out of state, making it easier and  
          cheaper for applicants to take an exam.

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

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:



                                                                    AB 1685

           Minor costs to SPCB to revise regulations to reflect increased  
            examination fees.  (Structural Pest Control Fund)

           Estimated revenue gains of approximately $364,000 for  
            expenditure on computer-based testing of applicants, based on  
            an anticipated examination fee increase of $40.  (Structural  
            Pest Control Fund).

          The Structural Pest Control Fund, which supports the activities  
          of the SPCB, is in a declining condition.  Expenditures from the  
          Fund outpaced revenues by $593,000 in the current year and are  
          projected to outpace revenues by $547,000 in 2014-15.  The  
          Fund's reserve has declined from $1.37 million at the end of  
          2012-13, to $770,000 at the end of 2013-14, and is projected to  
          be $223,000 at the end of 2104-15.  This bill provides authority  
          to raise the licensing examination fees beyond the current  
          proposal to increase the fees by $40 per licensing category.   
          The additional fee authority could help the condition of the  

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  7/1/14)

          Pest Control Operators of California (source)
          Structural Pest Control Board

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the bill's sponsor, Pest  
          Control Operators of California (PCOC), this bill helps bring  
          the industry up to date with advances in today's technology.   
          PCOC believes this bill will help improve the application and  
          licensing process in a manner that will save pest control  
          companies far more than the nominal fee increased proposed.  The  
          organization also adds that this bill improves consumer  
          protection d and helps small businesses in California.  

          SPCB writes, "The ability to offer CBT [computer-based testing]  
          examinations will help the Board ensure its applicants meet an  
          acceptable level of competency for licensure.  This helps the  
          Board achieve its goals of protection of public health and the  
          promotion of worker safety."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  72-0, 5/8/14
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown, Buchanan, Ian  



                                                                    AB 1685

            Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chávez, Chesbro, Conway, Cooley,  
            Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dickinson, Fong, Frazier, Beth Gaines,  
            Garcia, Gatto, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hagman,  
            Hall, Harkey, Roger Hernández, Holden, Jones, Jones-Sawyer,  
            Levine, Linder, Logue, Lowenthal, Maienschein, Medina,  
            Melendez, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Nestande, Olsen, Pan,  
            Perea, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez,  
            Salas, Skinner, Stone, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber,  
            Wieckowski, Wilk, Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Donnelly, Eggman, Fox, Gorell, Mansoor,  
            Patterson, V. Manuel Pérez, Vacancy

          MW:d  7/2/14   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                   ****  END  ****