BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 773


                                                                    Page  1





          Date of Hearing:  April 14, 2015


                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS


                                Susan Bonilla, Chair


          AB 773   
          (Baker) - As Introduced February 25, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Psychology licensing. 


          SUMMARY:  Changes the expiration date of a psychologist's  
          license from the licensee's birthdate to two-years after the  
          date of issuance.   


          EXISTING LAW


            1)  Establishes the Psychology Licensing Law which provides  
              for the licensure and regulation of licensed Psychologists.   
              (Business and Professions Code (BPC) Section 2901 et seq.)

            2)  Requires an applicant for licensure as a psychologist to  
              comply with the following requirements:  (BPC Section 2914)

             a)   Not be subject to denial, as specified;

             b)   Possess an earned doctorate degree, as specified;

             c)   Have engaged for at least two years in supervised  
               professional experience under the direction of a licensed  
               psychologist;









                                                                     AB 773


                                                                    Page  2





             d)   Take and pass an examination, as specified; and,

             e)   Show by evidence satisfactory to BOP that he or she has  
               completed training in the detection and treatment of  
               alcohol and other chemical dependency, as specified.  

            3)  States that all licenses expire and become invalid at  
              midnight on the last day of February, 1980, and thereafter  
              expire at midnight of the legal birth date of the licensee  
              during the second year of a two-year term if not renewed.   
              (BPC Section 2982)

            4)  Requires the Board of Psychology (BOP) to establish  
              regulations for the administration of the birth date renewal  
              program including the establishment of a pro rata formula  
              for the payment of fees by licentiates affected by the  
              implementation of that program, and the establishment of a  
              staggered license application system so that a relatively  
              equal number of licensees expire annually.  (BPC Section  
              2982)

          THIS BILL


          1)Deletes the current birthdate renewal system for a  
            psychologist's license.

          2)Provides that a psychologist's license will expire at midnight  
            on the last date of a two-year period from the date the  
            license was issued.





          3)Deletes the requirement for the BOP to establish regulation  
            procedures for the birthdate renewal program as specified.










                                                                     AB 773


                                                                    Page  3





          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.  This bill is keyed fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel. 


          COMMENTS


          1)Purpose.  This bill is sponsored by the  BOP  .  According to the  
            author, "This bill will amend [BPC] Section 2982, which  
            addresses the renewal and expiration of psychology licenses  
            under the [BOP's] birth date renewal system.  The bill would  
            replace the current birth date renewal system with a new  
            system in which licenses will expire at midnight on the last  
            date of a two-year period following the initial issuance date.  
             This bill will provide clarity and consistency for psychology  
            licensure."

          2)Background.  This bill will revise the BOP's current licensure  
            renewal program by specifying that a psychologist's license  
            will expire at midnight on the last day of a two-year period  
            from when the license was issued as opposed to the current  
            system which requires a license to expire on the licensee's  
            birthdate.  


            Licensure Requirements.  Licensed psychologists are required  
            to obtain a doctoral degree from an accredited institution in  
            psychology, educational psychology or in a field specializing  
            in counseling psychology or educational psychology.   
            Psychologists are required to complete 3000 hours (minimum  
            two-years) of supervised experience, of which 1500 must be  
            completed after obtaining a doctoral degree.  Current license  
            holders are required to renew their license every two-years  
            based on their birth date.  













                                                                     AB 773


                                                                    Page  4





            Birthdate Renewal for Licensure.  The BOP utilizes the birth  
            date renewal system for its licensing population which was  
            implemented more than 20 years ago.  The birth date renewal  
            system was intended to spread out the BOP's revenue and work  
            flow with respect to processing renewal applications during  
            peak application times.  In the past, the BOP conducted an  
            oral examination which was offered only twice a year.  As a  
            result of the limited examination offerings, an abundance of  
            applications would be received and processed at one time, with  
            a high volume of renewals to follow two-years later.  The  
            birth date renewal program would help to spread this workload  
            out across the year as birthdates vary greatly.  However, the  
            current birth date renewal program does not offer a prorated  
            license fee for initial licenses. 



            According to the sponsor, when a licensed is issued by the  
            BOP, to maintain the birth date renewal system, the license is  
            issued for a period of between 12 and 24 months based on the  
            issue date and the licensee's birth month.  For example, if a  
            license is issued March 26, 2014 and the licensee has a  
            February birthday, the license will expire on February 29,  
            2016 (or 23 months and 5 days); however, if the license is  
            issued March 26, 2014 and the licensee has a March birthday,  
            the license will expire on March 31, 2015 (only 12 months and  
            five days from issuance) and both licensees would pay the same  
            initial license fee and renewal fee of $400 regardless if the  
            license has been issued for between 12 and 24 months.  This  
            bill will change the renewal date cycle, thereby placing all  
            licensed psychologists on the same renewal cycle which will be  
            based on issuance dates rather than birthdates.  This should  
            alleviate the concerns of any new licensee who is paying the  
            full licensure fee for an abbreviated initial licensing  
            timeframe.  












                                                                     AB 773


                                                                    Page  5






            Currently, there are a number of licensing boards under the  
            Department of Consumer Affairs who utilize a birth date  
            renewal system including the Acupuncture Board, the Board of  
            Occupational Therapy, the Dental Board, the Medical Board, the  
            Physical Therapy Board, the Veterinarian Medical Board, and  
            the Board of Occupational Therapy.  





            The BOP reports that it issues anywhere between 50 to 80  
            initial licenses per month, approximately 20 a week, and they  
            do not anticipate a significant workload increase as a result  
            of this bill.  





            AB 483 (Patterson) of the current legislative session,  
            attempts to change the initial licensing fee for the above  
            mentioned entities by requiring the initial license to be  
            prorated based on the length of the initial license.  This  
            bill is different from AB 483, because it will completely  
            delete the birth date renewal for the psychology licensees.  





          3)Current Related Legislation.  AB 483 (Patterson) of the  
            current legislative session would require fees imposed, as  
            specified, for an initial license, an initial temporary or  
            permanent license, or an original license to be prorated on a  
            monthly basis.  STATUS: This bill is pending in the Assembly  
            Committee on Business and Professions.









                                                                     AB 773


                                                                    Page  6





          4)Prior Related Legislation. AB 1758 (Patterson) of 2014 would  
            have required the initial license fee for the following  
            licensing categories to be prorated on a monthly basis:  
            dentists; dental hygienists; physicians and surgeons; hearing  
            aid dispensers; occupational therapists; physical therapists;  
            psychologists; veterinary technicians; veterinarians;  
            acupuncturists; and architects.  NOTE: This bill was held in  
            the Senate Appropriations Committee. 





            SB 2014 (Machado) of 2002 would have directed the MBC to  
            prorate its annual licensing fees in cases where the initial  
            licensure period is less than two years, and deleted an  
            obsolete oral examination fee authority.  NOTE: This bill was  
            held in the Senate Appropriations Committee. 



            SB 1045 (Murray) of 2000 would have directed the MBC to  
            prorate its annual licensing fees in cases where the initial  
            licensure period is less than two years.  NOTE: This bill was  
            held in the Senate.  

            SB 663 (Maddy), Chapter 626, Statutes of 1992, authorized the  
            VMB to adopt regulations for the waiver or refund of initial  
            registration fees if the registration is issued less than 45  
            days before it will expire.  NOTE: This bill was held on the  
            Senate Floor. 
          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT 


          The  BOP  writes in support, "[This bill], which will ensure  
          initial psychologist licenses expire two years from the initial  
          issuance date.  First time licensees of the [BOP] are currently  
          paying the full license amount for their license when they are  
          not always receiving that license for the complete two-year  








                                                                     AB 773


                                                                    Page  7





          period.?The establishment of an initial license period that is  
          always 24 months will stop these licensees paying a full fee for  
          an abbreviated license period."


          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION


          None on file.


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          The California Board of Psychology (sponsor)


          The California Psychological Association 




          Opposition


          None on file. 




          Analysis Prepared by:Elissa Silva / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301











                                                                     AB 773


                                                                    Page  8