BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                            



           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 822|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           
                                           
                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 822
          Author:   Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development  
          Committee
          Amended:  4/22/13
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE BUSINESS, PROF. & ECON. DEVELOP. COMM.  :  10-0, 4/29/13
          AYES:  Price, Emmerson, Block, Corbett, Galgiani, Hernandez,  
            Hill, Padilla, Wyland, Yee

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate  Rule 28.8


           SUBJECT :    Professions and vocations

           SOURCE  :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill makes several non-controversial, minor,  
          nonsubstantive 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).

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1.Establishes certain general provisions of the BPC by  
            transferring 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, and requiring the Structural Pest Control Board to make  
                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 822
                                                                     Page  
          2

            certain reports during the 1995-96 Budget Year. 

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

             A.   Provides that, effective July 1, 2013, a licensed  
               certified public accountant from another state may practice  
               in 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.  

             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. 

          1.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.  

             B.   Authorizes the registrar of contractors to order a  
               licensee who aids and abets unlicensed practice to make  
               restitution through a citation in lieu of an accusation. 

             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 for an active license). 

          1.Contains the following provisions relating to Board of Guide  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 822
                                                                     Page  
          3

            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. 

             B.   Refers to "guide dog and seeing-eye dog." 

          1.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. 

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

          This bill:

          1.Repeals outdated provisions of the BPC. 

          2.Makes the following changes relating to the 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. 

             B.   Authorizes the CBA to issue citations to out-of-state  
               licensees practicing in California under practice  
               privilege. 

          1.Makes the following changes relating to the 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  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 822
                                                                     Page  
          4

               conduct a "field" investigation of a licensee's  
               qualification for a specialty license.

             B.   Clarifies the registrar's authority to order a licensee  
               to make restitution for aiding or abetting unlicensed  
               activity. 

             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.  

          1.Makes the following changes relating to the BGDB:

             A.   Strikes a reference to the board members administering  
               licensing examinations to guide dog instructors. 

             B.   Makes conforming changes by striking out a reference to  
               "seeing-eye dog" and only referring to "guide dog," and  
               makes technical changes. 

          1.Makes the following changes relating to the BPELSG:

             A.   Establishes a retired status license for a professional  
               geologist or geophysicist. 

             B.   Sets the fee for a retired registration for a  
               professional geologist or geophysicist at not more than 50%  
               of the license fee. 

          1.Makes a conforming change to refer to "married couple" rather  
            than to "husband and wife," as it relates to fictitious  
            business name statements.

           Background
           
           General provisions.   As a Trailer Bill to the Budget Act of  
          1995, BPC Section 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  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 822
                                                                     Page  
          5

          Board and the Funeral Directors and Embalmers Board into another  
          board or entity (BPC Section 102.1 (d)).  In 2000, AB 2888  
          (Consumer Protection, Governmental Efficiency and Economic  
          Development Committee, Chapter 568) consolidated the Cemetery  
          Board and Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers into the  
          current Cemetery and Funeral Bureau, thereby setting aside  
          Section 102.1.  BPC Section 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. 

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

          The CBA is authorized by BPC Section 125.9 to issue citations  
          and fines to California licensees who violate specified sections  
          of law.  Beginning July 1, 2013, BPC Section 5096.2 will  
          authorize the CBA to revoke, suspend, or fine a practice  
          privilege holder for specified violations.  Existing law does  
          not authorize the CBA to issue citations to out-of-state  
          licensees practicing in California.

           CSLB.   According to the CSLB, there are duplicative posting  
          requirements under the Contractors Law.  BPC Section 7080.5  
          requires that all applications for licensure (including waiver  
          applications) be posted for public review, and BPC Section  
          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  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 822
                                                                     Page  
          6

          "field."  Because of the conditions required for approval, the  
          investigations consist strictly of review of documentation that  
          must be submitted by the contractor.  

          CSLB states without the change to BPC Section 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 required to pay the delinquency  
          fee even though they made a good-faith effort to submit a timely  
          application. 

           BGDB  .  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 Section 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 Section 7210)
          
           BPELSG.    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  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 822
                                                                     Page  
          7

          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 Web site,  
          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.

           Fictitious business name statements.    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." 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  Yes   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/13/13)

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


           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The Contractors State License Board  
          writes, "SB 822 provides that an incomplete renewal application  
          that had originally been submitted on or before the license  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 822
                                                                     Page  
          8

          expiration date shall be returned to the licensee with an  
          explanation, and the licensee shall have 30 days to correct and  
          resubmit, and shall not be required to pay the renewal  
          delinquency fee.  Under current law, CSLB does not have the  
          authority to waive the delinquency fee.  Licensees in these  
          circumstances are making a good faith effort to complete their  
          renewal on-time and should not be penalized with a delinquency  
          fee."

          The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and  
          Geologists states that this bill establishes a retired license  
          status and associated fee for professional geologists and  
          geophysicists which is consistent with professional engineers  
          and land surveyors.

          The Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind (Board) states that this  
          bill eliminates the requirement for the Board to meet to conduct  
          examinations and remove trademarked terminology ("seeing eye  
          dog") from the Guide Dog Act (Act).  "In 2005, the Board  
          conducted an Occupational Analysis which created a legally  
          defensible examination involving subject matter experts, as  
          opposed to Board Members, for purposes of conducting instructor  
          examinations. Additionally, the Act utilizes the term "seeing  
          eye dog" which is a trademarked term for the Seeing Eye Dog  
          School in New Jersey.  These changes update the Act to be more  
          current with examination standards and industry terminology."

          The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials  
          states that by updating the reference in BPC Section 17914 from  
          "husband and wife" to "married couple" this bill creates  
          uniformity in the BPC.


          MW:nld  5/14/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                   ****  END  ****







                                                                CONTINUED