BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó






           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 177|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  AB 177
          Author:   Bonilla (D)
          Amended:  8/31/15 in Senate
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE BUS, PROF. & ECON. DEV. COMMITTEE:  9-0, 7/6/15
           AYES:  Hill, Bates, Berryhill, Block, Galgiani, Hernandez,  
            Jackson, Mendoza, Wieckowski

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  7-0, 8/27/15
           AYES:  Lara, Bates, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza, Nielsen

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  80-0, 6/1/15 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Professions and vocations:  licensing boards:   
                     authority:  extension


          SOURCE:    Author


          DIGEST:  This bill extends the sunset date for the Board for  
          Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists, the  
          California Architects Board, and the Landscape Architects  
          Technical Committee until January 1, 2020 and provides the  
          California Architects Board the authority to allow students  
          enrolled in an Additional Path to Architectural Licensing  
          Program to take the national examination early.


          ANALYSIS:   










                                                                     AB 177  
                                                                    Page  2


          Existing law:

          1) Establishes the California Architects Board (CAB) within the  
             Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), which licenses and  
             regulates professional architects under the Architects  
             Practice Act.  (BPC § 5500 et seq.)


          2) Establishes the Landscape Architects Technical Committee  
             (LATC), under the CAB, which licenses and regulates landscape  
             architects.  (BPC § 5615 et seq.)


          3) Establishes the Professional Engineers Act, administered by  
             the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and  
             Geologists (BPELSG), within the DCA, which licenses and  
             regulates professional engineers.  (BPC § 6700 et seq.)


          This bill:

          1) Extends the sunset date for the BPELSG, CAB, and the LATC  
             from January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2020.


          2) Creates the Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and  
             Geologists Fund by merging the Geology and Geophysics Account  
             with the Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Fund by  
             July 1, 2016.


          3) Until January 1, 2010, provides BPELSG the authority to  
             discipline a licensee for failure to respond to a written  
             request or information from the BPELSG resulting from the  
             investigation of a complaint.


          4) Clarifies that the written contract requirement for a  
             licensee must contain a provision for both party's ability to  
             terminate and the procedure for termination of a contract.


          5) Gives the BPELSG the ability to develop the education  
             standards for licensure as a geologist, geophysicist, or a  







                                                                     AB 177  
                                                                    Page  3


             geologist-in-training.


          6) Provides the CAB the authority to allow students enrolled in  
             an Additional Path to Architectural Licensing Program to take  
             the national examination early.


          7) Makes other technical and clarifying changes.


          Background


          In 2015, the Senate Business, Professions and Economic  
          Development Committee and the Assembly Business and Professions  
          Committee (Committees) conducted joint oversight hearings to  
          review 12 regulatory entities including the Board for  
          Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists, the  
          California Architects Board, and the Landscape Architects  
          Technical Committee.  This bill is intended to implement  
          legislative changes as recommended by staff of the Committees  
          reflected in a Background Paper on the aforementioned Boards and  
          Committee, as well as the discussion stemming from the sunset  
          hearing. 


          BPELSG.  The BPELSG is charged with safeguarding the life,  
          health, property, and public welfare by regulating the practices  
          of professional engineering, land surveying, geology, and  
          geophysics.  The BPELSG provides this public service by  
          qualifying and licensing individuals, establishing regulations,  
          enforcing laws and regulations, and providing information so  
          that consumers can make informed decisions.  The vast majority  
          of licensed engineers hold a college degree in engineering.   
          Land surveyors make decisions and form opinions based upon  
          interpretation of legal documents, field evidence, and the use  
          of technically advanced instrumentation.  Licensed geologists  
          and geophysicists often obtain post-secondary degrees in earth  
          sciences and devote many years of experience studying and  
          interpreting historical data related to soils, earth dynamics,  
          groundwater, and the effect those have on public improvements.

          CAB and LATC.  The CAB was created in 1901 by the Legislature to  







                                                                     AB 177  
                                                                    Page  4


          fulfill the mission of protecting the health, safety, and  
          welfare of the public through the regulation of the practice of  
          architecture.  The CAB establishes regulations for the  
          examination and licensing of the architecture profession in  
          California, which today numbers approximately 21,000 licensed  
          architects and approximately 11,000 candidates who are in the  
          process of meeting examination and licensure requirements.  The  
          mission of the CAB is to protect the public health, safety, and  
          welfare through the regulation of the practice of architecture  
          and landscape architecture in California.  

          California began regulating the practice of landscape  
          architecture in 1953.  The LATC, under the purview of the CAB,  
          was created by the Legislature to protect the health, safety,  
          and welfare of the public by establishing license standards and  
          enforcing the laws and regulations that govern the practice of  
          landscape architecture in California.  The LATC is responsible  
          for the examination, licensure, and enforcement programs  
          concerning landscape architects.  The LATC currently licenses  
          more than 3,500 of the over 16,400 licensed landscape architects  
          in the United States.  The mission of the LATC is to regulate  
          the practice of landscape architecture in a manner which  
          protects the public health, safety, and welfare and safeguards  
          the environment, as specified.  

          Additional Path to Architectural Licensing Programs. Current law  
          stipulates that candidates may take the examination after  
          completing five years of education/experience.   A new degree  
          type is being developed that will integrate the national Intern  
          Development Program into the degree programs, as well as course  
          content that correlates with divisions of the national  
          examination (Architect Registration Examination).  Three  
          California universities are developing "Additional Path to  
          Architectural Licensing programs" and such programs have been  
          vetted by the National Council of Architectural Registration  
          Boards (of which CAB is a member).   Before the three California  
          schools finalize their programs and allocate significant  
          resources, they require some level of assurance the Board will  
          accept their students for early testing prior to the five year  
          point.  This bill will provide the Board authority to permit  
          earlier testing will provide sufficient assurances to  
          universities that the Board will authorize earlier testing.   
          Subsequent regulations and/or amendments to the Architects  
          Practice Act can provide additional implementation requirements  







                                                                     AB 177  
                                                                    Page  5


          or further authority.


          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    Yes         Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   No


          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, this bill will  
          not result in any significant costs due to the extension of  
          BPELSG, will result in potential one-time costs up to $150,000  
          for BPELSG to develop educational standards for geologists,  
          geophysicists, and geologists-in-training and will not result in  
          any significant costs due to the extension of CAB and LATC.




          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/31/15)


          Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
          California Council of the American Society of Landscape  
          Architects
          California Land Surveyors Association
          Professional Engineers in California Government


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/31/15)




          D. Woolley & Associates, Inc. 


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT: Supporters like BPELSG believe that this  
          bill would add a much needed cause for disciplinary action by  
          the Board if a licensee or certificate holder fails or refuses  
          to respond to a written request from a representative of the  
          board to cooperate in the investigation of a complaint against  
          that licensee or certificate holder and state that continued  
          licensure of these professionals are necessary to ensure ongoing  
          public protection.








                                                                     AB 177  
                                                                    Page  6



          Supporters also believe that the LATC has a strong record in  
          providing an appropriate balance between protecting the interest  
          of consumers and regulating the practice of landscape architects  
          through their licensing and regulatory programs.


          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:     D. Woolley & Associates, Inc.  
          believes that one section of current law is overreaching and  
          violates licensees' constitutional rights and protections.

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  80-0, 6/1/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang,  
            Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle,  
            Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina  
            Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez,  
            Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Harper, Roger Hernández, Holden,  
            Irwin, Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder,  
            Lopez, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina,  
            Melendez, Mullin, Nazarian, Obernolte, O'Donnell, Olsen,  
            Patterson, Perea, Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez,  
            Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting,  
            Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wilk, Williams, Wood, Atkins

          Prepared by:Mark Mendoza / B., P. & E.D. / (916) 651-4104
          8/31/15 15:15:58


                                   ****  END  ****