BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1159
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          SENATE THIRD READING
          SB 1159 (Lara)
          As Amended  August 4, 2014
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :32-0  
           
           BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS     12-2 APPROPRIATIONS      13-4        
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Bonilla, Bocanegra,       |Ayes:|Gatto, Bocanegra,         |
          |     |Campos, Dickinson,        |     |Bradford, Ian Calderon,   |
          |     |Eggman, Gordon, Hagman,   |     |Campos, Eggman, Gomez,    |
          |     |Holden, Maienschein,      |     |Holden, Linder, Pan,      |
          |     |Mullin, Skinner, Ting     |     |Quirk, Ridley-Thomas,     |
          |     |                          |     |Weber                     |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Jones, Wilk               |Nays:|Bigelow, Donnelly, Jones, |
          |     |                          |     |Wagner                    |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :  Authorizes a board, as defined, the State Bar and the  
          Bureau of Real Estate to accept an application containing an  
          individual's taxpayer identification number (ITIN) in lieu of a  
          social security number (SSN) for an initial or renewal license.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Authorizes an applicant to provide his or her ITIN instead of  
            his or her SSN for purposes of existing law that requires each  
            board under the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the  
            State Bar, and Bureau of Real Estate, at the time of issuance  
            of an initial or renewal license, to require that an  
            individual applicant to provide his or her SSN.

          2)Requires a licensing board to report a licensee who fails to  
            provide his or her ITIN to be reported by the licensing board  
            to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), and makes a licensee who  
            fails to provide that information after notification to be  
            subject to a penalty, as specified. 

          3)Authorizes, in addition to that penalty, a licensing board to  
            not process an application for an initial license unless the  
            applicant provides his or her ITIN, where requested on the  
            application. 









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          4)Requires a licensing board, upon request of the FTB, to  
            furnish to the FTB specified information, including the  
            licensee's ITIN. 

          5)Provides that an ITIN furnished pursuant to this bill is not  
            deemed a public record and shall not be open to the public for  
            inspection. 

          6)Provides that if the licensing board uses a national  
            examination to issue a license, and if a reciprocity agreement  
            or comity exists between the California and the state  
            requesting release of the ITIN, the licensing board may  
            release the ITIN to an examination or licensing entity, only  
            for the purpose of verification of licensure or examination  
            status.

          7)For purposes of enforcing child support payment provisions,  
            requires any board, the State Bar, and the Bureau of Real  
            Estate to require that each licensee provide the ITIN of each  
            individual licensed on the license and any person who  
            qualifies for the license.   

          8)Authorizes all boards, as specified, to collect an ITIN  
            instead of a SSN for purposes of existing law that requires  
            all boards, as specified, to collect SSNs from applicants for  
            the purposes of matching the names on a certified list,  
            provided by the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS),  
            of persons who are found to be out of compliance with a  
            judgment or order for support, as specified. 

          9)Authorizes the FTB to require any board, the State Bar, the  
            Bureau of Real Estate, and the Insurance Commissioner to  
            provide to the FTB the licensee's ITIN, and to send a notice  
            to any licensee failing to provide that number that describes  
            the information that was missing, the penalty associated with  
            not providing it, and that the failure to provide that  
            information within 30 days will result in the assessment of a  
            penalty of $100.  

          10)Declares Legislative intent and makes other conforming and  
            technical amendments.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee: 








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          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 ITINs 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 of the bill.  This bill allows applicants or licensees  
            to provide an ITIN in lieu of a SSN to a licensing board.   
            This bill resolves inconsistencies throughout the code and  
            provides additional identification options to applicants and  
            licensees, thereby increasing access to California  
            professional licenses.  This bill is author-sponsored.   
           
          2)Author's statement.  According to the author, "Many immigrants  
            come to the [US] as children and attend California's public  
            elementary and secondary schools, as well as public and  
            private colleges and universities.  Despite the high cost of  
            higher education and limited resources, with hard work, a  
            strong spirit of determination, and the assistance of state  
            laws that provide access to nonresident tuition exemptions,  
            state financial aid, and graduate school admissions tests,  
            these students are now able to attend, participate in, and  
            graduate from California colleges and universities.

          "Recently, the Legislature has 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 [BPC] 30 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  








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            self-sufficiency.

          "Authorizing the use of a social security number or ITIN, if one  
            has been issued, for the application of a professional license  
            would ensure the collection and reporting of information to  
            the [FTB] while clarifying inconsistent laws and removing  
            arbitrary barriers to professional licenses."     
           
          3)Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers.  An ITIN is a tax  
            processing identification number issued by the US Internal  
            Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws.  An  
            ITIN consists of nine digits, beginning with the number nine  
            (i.e. 9XX-XX-XXX).  Since 1996, the IRS has issued ITINs to  
            taxpayers and their dependents that are not eligible to obtain  
            a SSN.  The IRS issues ITINs because all wage earners,  
            regardless of their immigration status, are required to pay  
            federal taxes.  ITINs allow people who are ineligible for a  
            SSN to comply with tax laws, and are issued regardless of  
            immigration status.  Examples of individuals who need ITINs  
            include nonresident aliens, a United States (U.S.) resident  
            alien, and dependents or spouses of U.S. citizens or resident  
            aliens, or of nonresident alien visa holders.  To obtain an  
            ITIN, an individual must complete an IRS form which requires  
            documentation substantiating an individual's foreign or alien  
            status and the true identity of the individual.  

          4)This bill does not affect FTB or DCSS's ability to track  
            licensees.  The purpose of requiring SSN or federal employer  
            identification numbers is to identify persons with outstanding  
            tax liabilities or who are out of compliance with child  
            support orders.  Existing law authorizes the suspension of a  
            delinquent taxpayer's occupational or professional license  
            once a delinquency is at least five months old, and specified  
            notices have been issued by the FTB.  Existing law also  
            authorizes license denials and suspensions for failure to pay  
            court-ordered child support debt.  According to both the FTB  
            and DCSS, this bill would not affect the ability of the FTB or  
            DCSS to identify persons with outstanding tax liabilities or  
            child support payments because both entities have the  
            capability to identify those persons using their ITIN.          



           Analysis Prepared by  :    Eunie Linden / B., P. & C.P. / (916)  








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          319-3301 


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