BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          SENATE THIRD READING
          SB 1159 (Lara)
          As Amended  August 22, 2014
          Majority vote  

           SENATE VOTE  :    32-0  
           
           APPROPRIATIONS      13-4        BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS     10-3 
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Gatto, Bocanegra,         |Ayes:|Bonilla, Bocanegra,       |
          |     |Bradford,                 |     |Campos, Dickinson,        |
          |     |Ian Calderon, Campos,     |     |Gordon, Holden,           |
          |     |Eggman, Gomez, Holden,    |     |Maienschein, Mullin,      |
          |     |Linder, Pan, Quirk,       |     |Skinner, Ting             |
          |     |Ridley-Thomas, Weber      |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Bigelow, Donnelly, Jones, |Nays:|Jones, Hagman, Wilk       |
          |     |Wagner                    |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           
          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  








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            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. 

          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.  








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          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  
               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 (U.S.) with the state benefits provided by all  
            licensing acts of entities within DCA.

          14)Makes other conforming and technical amendments.

           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.








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          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  
            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 AB 1822 (Bill Berryhill) [Chapter 317] in 2012  
            and AB 1024 (Gonzalez) [Chapter 573] 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.








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          "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)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 U.S. from receiving certain 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 United States Code 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 U.S.      
           
          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  








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            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  
            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)  
          319-3301 


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