BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1159
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 6, 2014

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                    SB 1159 (Lara) - As Amended:  August 4, 2014 

          Policy Committee:                             Business,  
          Professions and Consumer Protection           Vote: 12 - 2 

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              

           SUMMARY  

          This bill authorizes a licensing board under the Department of  
          Consumer Affairs (DCA), the State Bar of California and the  
          Bureau of Real Estate to accept an application containing an  
          individual's taxpayer identification number (TIN) for an initial  
          or renewal license in lieu of a social security number.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)One-time costs to the Department of Consumer Affairs of up to  
            $130,000 (various special funds) to update forms,  
            publications, and information technology.

          2)Unknown potential costs, likely minor, to DCA's boards and  
            bureaus to ensure that new applicants using TINs are complying  
            with child support judgments. DCA's boards and bureau's  
            currently perform this function using applicants' social  
            security numbers.

          3)The bill would likely result in an increase in individuals  
            applying for licenses at the various boards and bureaus within  
            DCA, leading to increased licensing revenues. The amount of  
            the increase is unknown.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose  . According to the author, the Legislature has recently  
            begun to recognize the need to address arbitrary restrictions  
            on professional licenses with the passage of SB 1822 (Bill  
            Berryhill) in 2012 and AB 1024 (Gonzalez) in 2013.  However,  
            ambiguity in other sections of state law, in particular  








                                                                  SB 1159
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            pertaining to the issuance of professional licenses, has  
            created barriers to access, and created an artificial wall  
            that deprives many Californians of their only effective means  
            of economic mobility and self-sufficiency. 

          2)The author maintains that authorizing the use of a TIN for the  
            application of a professional license would ensure the  
            collection and reporting of information to the Franchise Tax  
            Board (FTB) while clarifying inconsistent laws and removing  
            arbitrary barriers to professional licenses.     
           
           3)Background  . Current law requires that individuals applying for  
            a license at one of DCA's boards and bureaus provide their  
            social security number (or a federal employer identification  
            number if the licensee is a partnership). Any licensee who  
            does not provide this information shall be reported to the FTB  
            and is subject to a penalty. In addition, a licensing board  
            may elect not to process original license applications from  
            applicants who do not provide their federal employer  
            identification number or social security number.

            The TIN is a tax processing number only available for certain  
            nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents  
            who cannot get a social security number.  It is a 9-digit  
            number, beginning with the number "9" and is formatted like a  
            social security number. An individual must apply to the IRS to  
            obtain a TIN.  The form requires documentation substantiating  
            foreign/alien status and true identity for the individual.

           4)Prior legislation  .  

             a)   AB 1024 (Gonzalez), Chapter 573, Statutes of 2013,  
               authorized the Supreme Court to admit to the practice of  
               law an applicant who is not lawfully present in the United  
               States, upon certification by the committee that the  
               applicant has fulfilled those requirements for admission.

             b)   This bill is similar to AB 1822 (Berryhill, Ch. 317,  
               Statutes of 2012), which authorized applicants for an  
               architecture license to submit an individual TIN or another  
               identification number, as determined by the California  
               Architects Board, in place of a social security number  
               where the applicant is not eligible for a social security  
               number and is not out of compliance with a child support  
               judgment or order, among other things.








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             c)   AB 664 (Jones), Chapter 610, Statutes of 2005,  
               authorized, in specified circumstances, submission of a  
               federal tax identification number or another identification  
               number, as determined by the State Bar of California, in  
               place of the applicant's social security number.


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jennifer Swenson / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081