BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 822
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          Date of Hearing:   June 18, 2013

              ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS AND CONSUMER  
                                     PROTECTION
                              Richard S. Gordon, Chair
             SB 822 (Business, Professions and Economic Development) - As  
                               Amended:  June 12, 2013

           SENATE VOTE  :   36-0 
           
          SUBJECT  :   Professions and vocations.

           SUMMARY  :   Makes several technical changes to provisions within  
          the Business and Professions Code (BPC) related to the  
          regulation of various professions, including those overseen by  
          the California Board of Accountancy (CBA), the Contractors'  
          State License Board (CSLB), the Board of Guide Dogs for the  
          Blind (BGDB), and the Board for Professional Engineers, Land  
          Surveyors and Geologists (BPELSG).  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Repeals an outdated section of the BPC requiring the Cemetery  
            Board and Funeral Directors and Embalmers Board to consolidate  
            by January 1, 1996. 

          2)Repeals an outdated section of the BPC that required the  
            Structural Pest Control Board to make certain reports and take  
            specific actions by January 1, 1996.

          3)Makes the following changes related to the CBA:

               a)     Requires an out-of-state practice privilege holder  
                 to notify the CBA of pending criminal charges in any  
                 jurisdiction, and allows the CBA to initiate an  
                 investigation to determine whether there is immediate  
                 consumer harm; and,  

               b)     Authorizes the CBA to issue citations for violations  
                 to the BPC to out-of-state licensees practicing in  
                 California under practice privilege.
           
          4)Makes the following changes related to CSLB:

               a)     Specifies that the term "contractor" or "consultant"  
                 does not include a certified common interest development  
                 (CID) manager, and clarifies that a CID manager is not  








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                 required to hold a contractor's license to perform  
                 management services; 

               b)     Repeals the requirement that the CSLB post a listing  
                 of all applications approved during the previous 12  
                 months at its quarterly meetings, and deletes a reference  
                 to the outdated requirement to perform "field"  
                 investigations for a specialty license; 

               c)     Clarifies the registrar's authority to order a  
                 licensee to make restitution for aiding or abetting  
                 unlicensed activity; and,  

               d)     Provides that a license renewal applicant who  
                 submitted an incomplete renewal application prior to his  
                 or her license expiration date will not be required to  
                 pay the delinquency fee, if CSLB returned the incomplete  
                 application to the applicant for corrections, and then  
                 the licensee resubmitted the completed and acceptable  
                 application within 30 days of the license expiration  
                 date.

          5)Makes the following changes related to the BGDB:

               a)     Deletes the requirement that the BGDB hold meetings  
                 at least once a year for the purposes of administering  
                 licensing examinations to guide dog instructor  
                 applicants; and, 

               b)     Deletes a reference to "seeing-eye dog" to refer  
                 only to "guide dog."

          6)Makes the following changes related to the BPELSG:  
             
               a)     Establishes a retired status license for a  
                 professional geologist or geophysicist who has been  
                 registered by the board for a minimum of five years  
                 within California and a minimum of 20 years within the  
                 United States;

               b)     Provides that the fee for a retired registration for  
                 a professional geologist or geophysicist shall be fixed  
                 at not more than 50% of the license fee that is in effect  
                 on the date of application for a retired registration;  
                 and, 








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               c)     Makes technical changes to BPC Sections 7851 and  
                 7887, replacing references to the term "registration"  
                 with "license." 

           EXISTING LAW  

          1)Required the Cemetery Board and the Funeral Directors and  
            Embalmers Board to consolidate, and transferred all the  
            duties, powers, purpose, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of  
            the boards to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) as of  
            January 1, 1996, until the consolidation.  (Business and  
            Professions Code (BPC) Section BPC 102.1)

          2)Requires the Structural Pest Control Board to comply with  
            specific contingencies specified in the Budget Act of 1995 by  
            January 1, 1996, including making certain monthly reports on  
            progress during the 1995/1996 Budget Year.  (BPC 102.2)

          3)Establishes the following provisions related to the CBA:

               a)     Authorizes, beginning in January 1, 2013, a licensed  
                 certified public accountant (CPA) from another state to  
                 practice public accountancy in California without  
                 obtaining a certificate or license, subject to certain  
                 requirements.  Requirements include notifying the CBA  
                 within 15 calendar days of any disciplinary action  
                 against the individual's certificate, license, or permit  
                 from gross negligence, fraud, embezzlement, theft,  
                 misappropriation of funds or property, or if the United  
                 States Securities and Exchange Commission or the Public  
                 Company Accounting Oversight Board bars the individual  
                 from practicing, or if any other governmental body or  
                 agency suspends the right of the individual to practice.   
                 (BPC 5096)

               b)     Authorizes CBA to issue citations and fines to  
                 California licensees for specified violations.  Beginning  
                 in January 1, 2013, also authorizes CBA to revoke,  
                 suspend, or fine a practice privilege holder for  
                 specified violations.  (BPC 5096.2, BPC 5096.12) 

          4)Establishes the following provisions related to the CSLB:

               a)     Defines the term "contractor" to include any person  








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                 or consultant who undertakes a bid to construct a  
                 building or home improvement project, and defines the  
                 term "consultant," for purposes of the definition, to  
                 include a person who oversees a bid, arranges for and  
                 sets up work schedules, or maintains oversight of a  
                 construction project.  (BPC 7026.1)

               b)     Authorizes a contractor that possesses satisfactory  
                 experience to waive the license classification exam and  
                 obtain an additional license classification, and  
                 specifies that at least 3% of these "waiver applications"  
                 must undergo a "comprehensive field investigation," and  
                 that every approved waiver application must be reported  
                 to the CSLB and made public quarterly meetings, as  
                 specified.  (BPC 7065.3)

               c)     Authorizes a licensee who is found to have  
                 participated in aiding or abetting an unlicensed practice  
                 to be ordered to pay restitution to the injured party for  
                 any injury resulting from the acts.  (BPC 7114) 

               d)     Requires a licensee to submit an acceptable renewal  
                 application prior to the license expiration date.  If the  
                 license expires, the licensee may apply for renewal  
                 within five years by filing an application for renewal,  
                 paying the appropriate renewal fee, and paying the  
                 delinquency fee (currently $180.00 for an active license)  
                 for the break in time.  (BPC 7141)

          5)Establishes the following provisions related to the BGDB:  
             
               a)     Provides that the BGDB shall hold regular meetings  
                 at least once a year at which the examination of  
                 applicants for certificates of registration shall be  
                 given.  (BPC 7206)

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

          6)Establishes the following provisions related to the BPELSG:  
             
               a)     Authorizes the BPELSG to issue, upon application and  
                 payment of the required fee, a retired status license for  
                 professional engineers and land surveyors.  (BPC 6762.5,  
                 BPC 8729) 








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               b)     Authorizes the application of fixed maximum fees for  
                 specified registrations, certificates, and license  
                 renewals.  (BPC 7887)

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

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Purpose of this bill.   This is a "Committee bill" authored and  
            sponsored by the Senate Business, Professions and Economic  
            Development Committee for the purpose of consolidating  
            multiple non-controversial revisions into a single bill.  By  
            combining the provisions related to various regulatory  
            programs and professions governed by the BPC into one bill, SB  
            822 provides relief to the different licensing boards,  
            bureaus, professions and other regulatory agencies that would  
            have to otherwise separate out each measure.  

           2)Author's Statement.   The authoring Committee states, "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."

           3)Provisions related to the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau  .  AB 910  
            (Speier) Chapter 381, Statutes of 1995, added BPC 102.1, which  
            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.   
            However, the transfer to DCA was to be operative only until  
            the Cemetery Board and the Funeral Directors and Embalmers  
            Board were consolidated.  AB 2888 (Consumer Protection,  
            Governmental Efficiency and Economic Development Committee),  








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            Chapter 568, Statutes of 2000, consolidated the Cemetery Board  
            and Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers into the current  
            Cemetery and Funeral Bureau, thereby making BPC 102.1  
            obsolete. 

           4)Provisions related to the Structural Pest Board.   BPC 102.2  
            requires the Structural Pest Control Board to make certain  
            reports during the 1995/1996 Budget Year, and specified that  
            the specific contingencies needed to occur January 1, 1996.   
            As this date has passed, this outdated Section in no longer  
            relevant. 

           5)California Board of Accountancy.   Under current law, an  
            out-of-state licensee who exercises under a practice privilege  
            in California is required to notify the CBA within 15 calendar  
            days of the occurrence of any disciplinary action from another  
            state for fraud, gross negligence, theft, embezzlement, or  
            reckless accounting practice, 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 currently required to notify the CBA of any  
            pending criminal charges, which leads to inconsistent  
            notifications.  This bill would require such notifications.  

            The CBA is authorized by BPC 125.9 to issue citations and  
            fines to California licensees who violate specified sections  
            of law.  Beginning July 1, 2013, BPC 5096.2 authorizes CBA to  
            revoke, suspend, or fine a practice privilege holder for  
            specified violations, but does not authorize the CBA to issue  
            citations to out-of-state licensees practicing in California.   
            This bill would rectify that situation by permitting CBA to  
            cite out-of-state licenses.  

           6)Contractors' State License Board.   According to CSLB, there  
            are duplicative posting requirements under the Contractors'  
            State License Law.  BPC 7080.5 requires that all applications  
            for licensure be posted for public review, while BPC 7065.3  
            requires applications for an additional license classification  
            to be posted for public review, before the additional license  
            classification is issued.  CSLB also states that the required  
            investigations for additional license classifications do not  
            require review in the "field."  The investigations consist  
            strictly of review of documents, making unnecessary the term  








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            "field" as used in BPC 7065.3. 

            CSLB states that without a 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 cannot be a condition for reinstatement of the  
            license, and the consumer must try to recoup financial losses  
            through other means, such as a civil action.

            Finally, CSLB contends that every month a number of licensee  
            renewal applications are submitted with simple errors, such as  
            a missing signature. The applications cannot be processed with  
            these errors, and must be returned to the licensee to make  
            corrections.  Even though CSLB sends renewal applications 60  
            days prior to the license expiration date, applications are  
            often postmarked a week (or less) prior to the expiration  
            date.  This allows little time for CSLB to process and return  
            incomplete renewals before the deadline.  In cases where  
            licensees must correct and resend their renewals, they often  
            miss the deadline and are charged the delinquency fee even  
            though they made a good-faith effort to submit the application  
            on time.  SB 822 provides that an incomplete renewal  
            application that had originally been submitted on or before  
            the license expiration date may be returned within 30 days  
            after the license expiration date, and the delinquency fee  
            shall not apply.  

           7)Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind.   According to BGDB, "In  
            2005, the BDGB conducted an Occupational Analysis which  
            created a legally defensible examination involving subject  
            matter experts conducting the instructor examinations, as  
            opposed to Board Members."  For this reason, an amendment to  
            BPC 7203 is necessary for clarification.  

            Additionally, BGDB states that the term "seeing eye dog" is  
            trademarked by the Seeing Eye Dog School in New Jersey, and  
            refers to a specific type of dog from this dog school.   
            Updating BPC 7210 to eliminate reference to "seeing eye dog,"  
            and use only the term "guide dog," will bring the most current  
            terminology to the Code.  

           8)Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and  
            Geologists.   Currently, there is no option for a retired  
            geologist or geophysicist to obtain a retired license status  








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            after he or she is no longer practicing.  This means that a  
            geologist or geophysicist who retires from the profession must  
            either 1) stop paying the renewal fee which causes the license  
            to go to a "delinquent" status, and then after five years a  
            "cancelled" status; or 2) continue to pay the renewal fee  
            every two years to keep an "active" status.  According to the  
            BPELSG, a delinquent or cancelled status can often have a  
            negative connotation because it implies that the individual  
            has not complied with a requirement.  However, electing to  
            continue to pay the renewal fee every two years can be a  
            financial burden, especially for a retired individual who is  
            no longer working.  Many retirees would like the opportunity  
            to have the choice of a retired status, which engineers and  
            land surveyors already have under the Professional Engineers  
            Act and the Professional Land Surveyors Act. 

           9)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 references to "married couple" rather than to "husband  
            and wife."  SB 822 would conform BPC 17914, which still refers  
            to "husband and wife" to the modern terminology. 
                
            10)Related Legislation.   SB 821 (Senate Committee on Business,  
            Professions and Economic Development) makes several  
            non-controversial, non-substantive, or technical changes to  
            various provisions pertaining to the health-related regulatory  
            Boards of the Department of Consumer Affairs. 

            SB 823 (Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic  
            Development) revises the qualifications for certified public  
            accountant licensure in order to smooth the transition to the  
            new requirements for some applicants, and reestablishes  
            certain provisions regarding the administration of the  
            Transcript Reimbursement Fund operated by the Court Reporters  
            Board of California.   
           
          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 

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








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          California Board of Accountancy
          Contractors' State License Board
          Patti Bowers, Executive Officer, California Board of Accountancy  

          
            Opposition 
           
          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Angela Pontes / B.,P. & C.P. / (916)  
          319-3301