BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







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        |Hearing Date:April 29, 2013        |Bill No:SB                         |
        |                                   |822                                |
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                       SENATE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS
                               AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
                          Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., Chair
                                           

                Bill No:        SB 822Author:Business, Professions and
                                              Economic Development Committee
                      As Amended:April 22, 2013       Fiscal:Yes


        SUBJECT:  Professions and vocations.
        
        SUMMARY:  Makes several non-controversial, minor, non-substantive or  
        technical changes to various provisions within the Business and  
        Professions Code (BPC) relating to the regulatory boards of the  
        Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

        Existing law:
        
       1)Provides for the licensing and regulation of various professions and  
          businesses by some 
       23 boards, 4 committees, 9 bureaus, and 1 commission within the DCA  
          under various licensing acts within the BPC.

       2)Establishes certain general provisions of the BPC:

           a)   Transfers the duties, powers, purpose, responsibilities, and  
             jurisdiction of the Cemetery Board and the Board of Funeral  
             Directors and Embalmers to the Department of Consumer Affairs as  
             of January 1, 1996.         (BPC  102.1)

           b)   Requires the Structural Pest Control Board to make certain  
             reports during the 1995/1996 Budget Year.  (BPC  102.2)

       3)Makes the following provisions relating to the California Board of  
          Accountancy (CBA): 

           a)   Provides that, effective July 1, 2013, a licensed certified  
             public accountant (CPA) from another state may practice in  





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             California subject to certain requirements, including notifying  
             the CBA within 15 days of any disciplinary action taken against  
             them by another state for fraud, gross negligence, theft,  
             embezzlement, reckless accounting practice, or if the licensee is  
             barred by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or  
             the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or if the  
             licensee's right to practice is suspended by any government  
             entity.  (BPC  5096) 

           b)   Authorizes CBA to issue citations and fines to California  
             licensees who violate specified sections of law.  Beginning July  
             1, 2013, the law authorizes the CBA to revoke, suspend, or fine a  
             practice privilege holder for specified violations.  (BPC   
             5096.2)

       4)Contains the following provisions relating to the Contractors State  
          License Board (CSLB): 

           a)   Authorizes a contractor that meets specified experience  
             conditions, to waive the applicable license classification exam  
             and obtain an additional license classification based solely on  
             the qualifier's experience, and requires that at least 3% of  
             these "waiver applications" undergo a "comprehensive field  
             investigation" and that every waiver application that is approved  
             be reported to the CSLB at each of the quarterly meetings as  
             specified.  
           (BPC  7065.3)

           b)   Authorizes the registrar to order a licensee who aids and  
             abets unlicensed practice to make restitution through a citation  
             in lieu of an accusation.  (BPC  7114) 

           c)   Requires a licensee to submit an acceptable renewal  
             application prior to expiration of the license in order to avoid  
             a break in time in the license record and a delinquency fee  
             ($180.00 for an active license).  (BPC  7141)

       5)Contains the following provisions relating to Board of Guide Dogs for  
          the Blind (BGDB): 

           a)   Provides that the BGDB shall hold regular meetings at least  
             once a year at which an examination of applicants for  
             certificates of registration shall be given.  (BPC  7206)

           b)   Refers to "guide dog and seeing-eye dog."  (BPC  7210) 






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       6)Contains the following provisions relating to Board for Professional  
          Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists (BPELSG): 

           a)   Authorizes the BPELSG to issue a retired status license for  
             professional engineers and land surveyors but does not authorize  
             a retired license status professional geologist or geophysicist.

           b)   Establishes criteria for a land surveyor to file a record of  
             survey.  (BPC  8773)

       7)Contains the following provisions relating to Fictitious Business  
          Name Statements: 

           a)   Makes various references to "married couple" throughout the  
             law dealing with fictitious business names, but refers to  
             "husband and wife" in BPC  17914. 

        This bill:

       1)Repeals outdated provisions of the BPC.  (BPC  102.1, 102.2)

       2)Makes the following changes relating to the California Board of  
          Accountancy (CBA):

           a)   Requires an out-of-state licensee to notify the CBA of pending  
             criminal charges and allow the CBA to initiate an investigation  
             to determine whether there is immediate consumer harm.  (BPC   
             5096)

           b)   Authorizes the CBA to issue citations to out-of-state  
             licensees practicing in California under practice privilege.   
             (BPC  5096.2, 5096.12)

       3)Makes the following changes relating to the Contractors State License  
          Board (CSLB):

           a)   Repeals a redundant requirement that requires a license  
             application to be posted for public review before the license is  
             issued, and removes an outdated requirement to conduct a "field"  
             investigation of a licensee's qualification for a specialty  
             license (BPC  7065.3)

           b)   Clarifies the registrar's authority to order a licensee to  
             make restitution for aiding or abetting unlicensed activity.   
             (BPC  7114)






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           c)   Provides that an incomplete license renewal submitted prior to  
             the license expiration date, and returned to the licensee by the  
             CSLB shall not be subject to the delinquency fee if the applicant  
             corrects the application and returns it within 30 days of the  
             expiration date.  
           (BPC  7141)

       4)Makes the following changes relating to the Board of Guide Dogs for  
          the Blind (BGDB):

           a)   Strikes a reference to the board members administering  
             licensing examinations to guide dog instructors.  (BPC  7206)

           b)   Makes conforming changes by striking out a reference to  
             "seeing-eye dog" and only referring to "guide dog," and makes  
             technical changes.  (BPC  7210)

       5)Makes the following changes relating to the Board for Professional  
          Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists (BPELSG):

           a)   Establishes a retired status license for a professional  
             geologist or geophysicist. 
           (BPC  7206)

           b)   Sets the fee for a retired registration for a professional  
             geologist or geophysicist at not more than 50% of the license  
             fee.  (BPC  7887)

       6)Makes the following changes relating to Fictitious Business Name  
          Statements:

           a)   Makes a conforming change to refer to "married couple" rather  
             than to "husband and wife."  (BPC  17914)

        FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.  This bill has been keyed "fiscal" by  
        Legislative Counsel.

        COMMENTS:
        
       1.Purpose.  This bill is one of three "committee bills" authored by the  
          Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee (Committee)  
          and is intended to consolidate a number of non-controversial  
          provisions related to various regulatory programs and professions  
          governed by the BPC.  Consolidating the provisions in one bill is  
          designed to relieve the various licensing boards, bureaus,  
          professions and other regulatory agencies from the necessity and  





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          burden of having separate measures for a number of non-controversial  
          revisions.

       Many of the provisions of this bill are minor, technical and updating  
          changes, while other provisions are substantive changes intended to  
          improve the ability of various licensing programs and other entities  
          to efficiently and effectively administer their respective laws.

       However, as a Committee bill, if controversy or opposition should arise  
          regarding any provision that cannot be resolved, then that provision  
          will be removed from the bill.  This will eliminate the chance of  
          placing any of the other provisions in jeopardy.

       2.Background.  The following is background and reasons for the more  
          significant and substantive provisions in this measure:

           a)   General Provisions.  As a Trailer Bill to the Budget Act of  
             1995, the BPC  102.1 transferred the duties, powers, purpose,  
             responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the Cemetery Board and the  
             Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers to the DCA as of January  
             1, 1996.  Under the terms of this law, the transfer was to be  
             operative only during the period that legislation is not enacted  
             to consolidate or otherwise restructure the Cemetery Board and  
             the Funeral Directors and Embalmers Board into another board or  
             entity (BPC  102.1 (d)).  In 2000, AB 2888 (Consumer Protection,  
             Governmental Efficiency and Economic Development Committee,  
             Chapter 568, Statutes of 2000) consolidated the Cemetery Board  
             and Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers into the current  
             Cemetery and Funeral Bureau, thereby setting aside Section 102.1.

           The BPC  102.2 simply required the Structural Pest Control Board  
             to make certain reports during the 1995/1996 Budget Year.

           Both of these sections are outdated and no longer needed. (BPC   
             102.1 and 102.2)

           b)   Board of Accountancy.  According to the CBA, an out-of-state  
             licensee who exercises a practice privilege in California is  
             required to notify the CBA within 15 days of the occurrence of  
             any disciplinary action from another state for fraud, gross  
             negligence, theft, embezzlement, reckless accounting practice, or  
             if the licensee is barred by the United States Securities and  
             Exchange Commission or the Public Company Accounting Oversight  
             Board, or if the licensee's right to practice is suspended by any  
             government entity.  However, an out-of-state licensee who  
             exercises a practice privilege in California is not required to  





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             notify the CBA of any pending criminal charges.  As a result, the  
             CBA will receive inconsistent notifications of pending criminal  
             charges.  This bill would require an out of state licensee  
             practicing in California to notify the CBA of any pending  
             criminal charges.

           The CBA is authorized by Section 125.9 of the Business and  
             Professions Code (B&P Code) to issue citations and fines to  
             California licensees who violate specified sections of law.   
             Beginning July 1, 2013, Section 5096.2 will authorize the CBA to  
             revoke, suspend, or fine a practice privilege holder for  
             specified violations.  The law, as it presently exists, does not  
             authorize the CBA to issue citations to out-of-state licensees  
             practicing in California.

           c)   Contractors State License Board.  According to the CSLB, there  
             are duplicative posting requirements under the Contractors Law.   
             BPC  7080.5 requires that all applications for licensure  
             (including waiver applications) be posted for public review, and  
             BPC  7065.3 requires applications for an additional license  
             classification to be posted for public review, before the  
             additional license classification is issued.  CSLB further states  
             that investigations for additional license classifications do not  
             require any type of review in the "field."  Because of the  
             conditions required for approval, the investigations consist  
             strictly of review of documentation that must be submitted by the  
             contractor.  The term "field" as used in  7065.3 is superfluous.

           CSLB states without the change to BPC  7114, a restitution order  
             cannot be included in an accusation even though the underlying  
             charge of aiding and abetting unlicensed practice is included in  
             the pleading for disciplinary action.  As such, restitution could  
             not be a condition for reinstatement of the license, leaving the  
             consumer with no alternative but to try to recoup the financial  
             loss through a civil action.

           CSLB states that every month a number of licensee renewal  
             applications contain simple errors, such as missing signatures on  
             the application.  Because of these errors the applications cannot  
             be processed and must be returned to the licensee for  
             corrections.  Even though CSLB sends renewal applications 60 days  
             prior to the expiration date, applications are often postmarked a  
             week (or less) prior to the expiration date, allowing very little  
             time for processing and returning incomplete renewals.  For such  
             cases licensees who must mail in corrected applications will, in  
             addition to experiencing a break in current license status, be  





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             required to pay the delinquency fee even though they made a  
             good-faith effort to submit a timely application. 

           d)   Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind.  According to BGDB, in  
             2005, the BDGB adopted an Occupational Analysis which ultimately  
             recommended the guide dog instructor exam no longer be  
             administered by the BGDB, but instead, administered by a panel of  
             subject matter experts in order to be legally defensible.   
             Therefore, the BDGB is requesting a clarifying amendment to BPC   
             7206.

           BGDB states that the law refers to "guide dogs or seeing-eye dogs."  
              However, "seeing-eye dog" refers to a specific type of dog from  
             a particular guide dog school, according to BGDB, and reference  
             to the term should be eliminated.  (BPC  7210)
           
           e)   Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and  
             Geologists.   The BPELSG states that a geologist or geophysicist  
             who retires from the profession, has one of two options; either  
             stop paying the renewal fee which causes the license to go to a  
             delinquent status after the license expiration date, and  
             eventually to a cancelled status, (five years after the license  
             expiration date), or to continue to pay the renewal fee every two  
             years to keep the license in an active status even though they  
             are retired from the profession.

           A delinquent or cancelled status can often have a negative  
             connotation because it implies that the individual has not  
             complied with a requirement.  The license status is public  
             information and prominently displayed on the BPELSG's website,  
             making the delinquent status available for anyone to see.  Some  
             licensees have requested to have the option of a retired license  
             status because they have worked hard, accomplished much and take  
             pride in having passed the examinations and maintaining a license  
             in good standing for many years.  A delinquent or cancelled  
             status can be viewed as a huge downgrade after several years in a  
             prestigious status.  However, choosing to maintain a current  
             license status is 

           costly, especially for an individual that is no longer working and  
             possibly on a fixed income due to retirement from the profession.

           In addition, under the Professional Engineers Act and the  
             Professional Land Surveyors Act, engineers and land surveyors  
             have the choice of a retired status, while geologists and  
             geophysicists do not have that option.





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           f)   Fictitious Business Name Statements.   According to the  
             California Association of Clerks and Election Officials, AB 1325  
             (Lara, Chapter 368, Statutes of 2012) made a number of changes  
             relating to fictitious business names, including making reference  
             to a "married couple" throughout the law dealing with fictitious  
             business names, rather than to "husband and wife."  A conforming  
             change should be made in BPC  17914.

        
        SUPPORT AND OPPOSITION:
        
         Support:  

        Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists
        Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind
        California Association of Clerks and Election Officials
        Contractors State License Board
        Executive Officer, California Board of Accountancy 

         Opposition:  

        None received as of April 23, 2013



        Consultant:G. V. Ayers