BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:   August 28, 2014

              ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS AND CONSUMER  
                                     PROTECTION
                               Susan A. Bonilla, Chair
                    SB 1159 (Lara) - As Amended:  August 22, 2014

           SENATE VOTE  :   32-0
           
          SUBJECT  :   Professions and vocations: license applicants:  
          individual tax identification number.

           SUMMARY  :   Prohibits licensing boards under the Department of  
          Consumer Affairs (DCA) from denying licensure to an applicant  
          based on his or her citizenship or immigration status, and  
          requires a licensing board and the State Bar to require, by  
          January 1, 2016, that an applicant for licensure provide his or  
          her individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) or a social  
          security number (SSN) for an initial or renewal license.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Requires a board, as defined, the State Bar, and the Bureau of  
            Real Estate to require, by January 1, 2016, that an individual  
            applicant for licensure provide either an ITIN or SSN.  

          2)Prohibits any entity within DCA from denying licensure to an  
            applicant based on his or her citizenship or immigration  
            status.

          3)Requires every board to implement all required regulatory or  
            procedural changes by January 1, 2016, and authorizes a board  
            to implement these provisions prior to that date.

          4)Requires a board to report to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) a  
            licensee who fails to provide his or her ITIN, and subjects a  
            licensee who fails to provide that information after  
            notification to a penalty, as specified. 

          5)In addition to that penalty, prohibits a board from processing  
            an application for an initial license unless the applicant  
            provides his or her ITIN, where requested on the application. 

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









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          7)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. 

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

          9)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.   

          10)Authorizes 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. 

          11)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 failure to provide that information  
            within 30 days will result in the assessment of a penalty of  
            $100.  

          12)Makes conforming statutory changes to remove the requirement  
            of citizenship, legal admission, or documentary evidence  
            thereof for the following authorizations to practice or other  
            licensure actions: 

             a)   Allow a foreign medical graduate to be eligible for a  
               physician's and surgeon's certificate;

             b)   Allow a foreign medical graduate to participate in  
               professional activities in a medical school as a "visiting  
               fellow," and to participate in a fellowship program in  








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               specified hospitals or clinics; 

             c)   Allow a foreign medical graduate who does not  
               immediately qualify for a physician and surgeon's  
               certificate of registration to practice medicine and who is  
               offered a full-time faculty position at a medical school to  
               be granted a certificate in connection with his or her  
               position; 

             d)   Allow the Naturopathic Medicine Committee under the  
               Osteopathic Medical Board to grant a certificate to  
               practice naturopathic medicine to a person who does not  
               hold a naturopathic doctor's license but who is offered a  
               faculty position in a naturopathic medical education  
               program; and, 

             e)   Allow an individual to be licensed as a professional  
               fiduciary. 
              
          13)Finds and declares that it is in the best interests of the  
            state to provide persons who are not lawfully present in the  
            United States with the state benefits provided by all  
            licensing acts of entities within DCA.

          14)Makes other conforming and technical amendments.

           EXISTING STATE LAW  : 

          1)Requires each board under DCA, as well as the State Bar and  
            Bureau of Real Estate to, at the time of issuance of the  
            license, require that the  licensee provide their federal  
            employer identification number, if the licensee is a  
            partnership, or SSN for all others.  (Business and Professions  
            Code (BPC) Section 30 (a))

          2)Requires that any licensee who does not provide the federal  
            identification number or SSN be reported by the licensing  
            board to the FTB and is subject to a penalty.  (BPC 30 (b))

          3)Provides that in addition to a penalty, a licensing board may  
            elect to not process any application for an original license  
            if the applicant or licensee fails to provide its federal  
            employer identification number or SSN where requested on the  
            application.  (BPC 30 (c)) 









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          4)Requires a licensing board, upon request of the FTB, to  
            furnish to the FTB specified information including the federal  
            employer identification number if the entity is a partnership,  
            or SSN, for all others. (BPC 30(d); Revenue and Taxation Code  
            (RTC) 19528)

          5)Provides that it is the intent of the Legislature to utilize  
            the SSN or federal employer identification number for the  
            purpose of establishing the identification of persons affected  
            by state tax laws and for purposes of compliance with current  
            law, as specified and, to that end, the information furnished  
            pursuant to this section shall be used exclusively for those  
            purposes.  (BPC 30 (j))

          6)Provides that DCSS shall maintain a "certified list" that  
            provides names of persons who are found to be out of  
            compliance with a judgment or order for support in a case  
            being enforced under the Social Security Act.  (Family Code  
            (FAM) Section  17520(a)(3))

          7)Provides that DCSS shall provide the certified list to each  
            board that is responsible for the regulation of licenses, as  
            specified, and that all boards shall collect SSNs from all  
            applicants for the purposes of matching the names and of  
            responding to requests for this information made by DCSS.   
            (FAM 17520(d))

          8)Requires that promptly after receiving the certified list from  
            DCSS, and prior to issuance or renewal of a license, each  
            board shall determine whether the applicant is on the most  
            recent certified list provided by DCSS.  The board shall have  
            the authority to withhold issuance or renewal of the license  
            of any applicant on the list.  (FAM 17520(e)) 

          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 specified information, including the  
            licensee's federal employer identification number or SSN; to  
            send a notice to any licensee failing to provide those numbers  
            that describes the information that was missing; the penalty  
            associated with not providing it; that the failure to provide  
            that information within 30 days will result in the assessment  
            of a penalty of $100; and to assess a $100 penalty for any  
            licensee failing to provide its federal employer  
            identification number or his or her social security number.   








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            (RTC 19528)

           EXISTING FEDERAL LAW  : 

          1)Prohibits, under the federal Personal Responsibility and Work  
            Opportunity Reconciliation Act (P.L. 104-193), certain  
            categories of individuals not lawfully present in the United  
            States from receiving specified public benefits, including  
            "any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or  
            commercial license provided by an agency of a State or local  
            government or by appropriated funds of a State or local  
            government."  (8 USC Sec. 1621(c))

          2)Authorizes states to provide that "an alien who is not  
            lawfully present in the United States is eligible for any  
            State or local public benefit for which such alien would  
            otherwise be ineligible . . . through the enactment of a State  
            law after August 22, 1996, which affirmatively provides for  
            such eligibility."  (8 USC Sec. 1621(d))

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee: 

          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 prohibits licensing boards  
            from denying licensure to an applicant based on his or her  
            citizenship or immigration status, and requires licensing  
            boards to require an ITIN or SSN for an individual applicant  
            for licensure.  This bill is intended to provide additional  








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            identification options to applicants and licensees, thereby  
            increasing access to California professional licenses to  
            otherwise qualified individuals regardless of their  
            immigration status.  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  
            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.

          "The provisions of SB 1159 are consistent with current law and  
            in compliance with federal law.  Additionally, recent  
            amendments provide for a delayed implementation of the  
            measure, allowing boards and bureaus sufficient time to comply  
            with the provisions of the bill."     
           
           3)Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity  
            Reconciliation Act  .  Federal law, the Personal Responsibility  
            and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), P.L 104-193,  
            prohibits certain categories of individuals not lawfully  
            present in the United States from receiving certain public  
            benefits, including "any grant, contract, loan, professional  
            license, or commercial license provided by an agency of a  








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            State or local government or by appropriated funds of a State  
            or local government."  (8 USC Section 1621) (emphasis added)   
            However, the PRWORA also authorizes a state to make those  
            individuals eligible for any state or local public benefit for  
            which he or she would not otherwise be eligible by  
            affirmatively providing for those benefits through an  
            enactment of state law.  

          Professional licenses issued by licensing boards under DCA  
            constitute a public benefit, as defined under federal law, and  
            licensing boards under DCA are considered agencies of the  
            state, thereby triggering the federal requirement in the  
            PRWORA for an enactment of state law to provide those  
            benefits.  Accordingly, this bill seeks to affirmatively  
            provide this eligibility to obtain a professional license to  
            individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.  
                

           4)Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers  .  An ITIN is a tax  
            processing identification number issued by the U.S. Internal  
            Revenue Service (IRS) for 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 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.  

           5)This bill does not affect FTB or DCSS's ability to track  
            licensees  .  The purpose of requiring an SSN or federal  
            employer identification number 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  








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            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.         

           6)Arguments in support  .  The Los Angeles Area Chamber of  
            Commerce writes in support, "[This bill] would ensure that  
            otherwise eligible applicants are not denied a professional  
            license based solely on their immigration status?Many  
            immigrants come to California as children and are educated in  
            elementary and secondary schools in the state.  Despite the  
            high cost of higher education and limited resources, many of  
            them continue on to higher education, availing themselves of  
            state laws that offer access to in-state tuition rates and  
            state financial aid.  These young people have worked hard and  
            overcome many obstacles to succeed.  Now, they are educated  
            and ready to contribute as professionals.  Without access to a  
            professional license, many individuals will be limited in  
            their ability to contribute to our state."

          The California Immigrant Policy Center writes in support,  
            "Without access to a professional license, many individuals  
            will be limited in their ability to participate in the  
            workforce or start a business and thereby limit their economic  
            contributions to the State.  It is estimated that California's  
            labor force includes 1.85 million undocumented workers and  
            that households headed by undocumented workers contribute an  
            estimated $2.7 billion in state taxes.  As such, we expect SB  
            1159 to make an impact on the economic opportunity of  
            otherwise eligible immigrants."   

           The National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter,  
            also writes in support, "It is in the best interest of our  
            state to support efforts to educate our workforce and enable  
            our residents, including immigrants to improve their economic  
            mobility and self-sufficiency, which will increase their  
            contributions back to the state."

           7)Related legislation  .  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,  








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            as specified.

           8)Prior legislation  .  SB 1822 (Bill Berryhill), Chapter 317,  
            Statutes of 2012, authorized submission of an individual tax  
            identification number or another identification number, as  
            determined by the 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, as specified.

          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.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          American Civil Liberties Union of California
          California Immigrant Policy Center
          California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
          Central American Resource Center - Los Angeles 
          Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
          Councilwoman Cristina N. Carrizosa, City of Pomona
          Friends Committee on Legislation 
          The Latino and Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona  
          Valley
          Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
          Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
          National Association of Social Workers - California Chapter 
          Our Family Coalition
          Pre-Health Dreamers
          United Farm Workers (UFW)
           
            Opposition 
           
          None on file.


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










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