BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                       AB 1374|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1374
          Author:   Levine (D)
          Amended:  6/11/15 in Senate
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE BUS., PROF. & ECON. DEV. COMMITTEE:  9-0, 6/8/15
           AYES:  Hill, Bates, Berryhill, Block, Galgiani, Hernandez,  
            Jackson, Mendoza, Wieckowski

          SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  77-0, 4/30/15 (Consent) - See last page for  
            vote

           SUBJECT:   Psychologists:  licensure


          SOURCE:    California Board of Psychology

          DIGEST:   This bill eliminates the requirement for a fee in the  
          practice of psychology so that psychological services may be  
          provided for free, revises terms related to the practice of  
          psychology, amends the process by which an applicant submits a  
          verification of experience (VOE) to the California Board of  
          Psychology (BOP), and makes technical and clarifying changes.     


          ANALYSIS: 
          
          Existing law:

          1)Establishes the BOP to administer and enforce the Psychology  
            Licensing Law.  (Business and Professions Code (BPC) § 2920)

          2)Defines "the practice of psychology" to mean rendering or  








                                                                    AB 1374  
                                                                     Page  2



            offering to render for a fee to individuals, groups,  
            organizations or the public any psychological service  
            involving the application of psychological principles,  
            methods, and procedures of understanding, predicting, and  
            influencing behavior, such as the principles pertaining to  
            learning, perception, motivation, emotions, and interpersonal  
            relationships as specified.  (BPC § 2903)

          3)Establishes licensure requirements, including that an  
            applicant:  

             a)   Possesses an earned doctorate degree in a specified  
               field from an accredited institution.

             b)   Has engaged for at least two years in supervised  
               professional experience under the direction of a licensed  
               psychologist, as specified in the BOP's regulations.

             c)   Takes and passes the required examination, unless  
               exempted.  (BPC § 2914)

          4)States that if a supervising licensed psychologist (SLP) fails  
            to provide the VOE for an applicant to the BOP within 30 days  
            after being requested, the applicant may provide written  
            verification directly to the BOP.  (BPC § 2914 (c))

          5)Requires an applicant who sends a VOE directly to the BOP to  
            file a declaration of proof of service, under penalty of  
            perjury, as specified.  (BPC § 2914 (c))

          6)Specifies that, upon receipt of a VOE by the BOP, the SLP has  
            20 days from the day the BOP receives the verification and  
            declaration to file a rebuttal with the board.  (BPC § 2914  
            (c))

          7)States that only an applicant who has acquired the required  
            experience in the United States can submit a VOE directly to  
            the BOP.  (BPC § 2914 (c))

          This bill:

          1)Strikes the requirement of a fee from the definition of the  








                                                                    AB 1374  
                                                                     Page  3



            practice of psychology and in allied sections of law.

          2)Revises examples of the application of psychological  
            principles and methods to include "assessment" and  
            "intervention in order to increase effective functioning of  
            individuals, groups, and organizations," and strikes  
            "amelioration of psychological problems and emotional and  
            mental disorders of individuals and groups."

          3)Replaces "maladjustive" with "maladaptive" in reference to the  
            use of psychotherapy to assist a person to modify feelings,  
            conditions, attitudes, and behaviors which are emotionally,  
            intellectually, or socially ineffectual or maladaptive.

          4)Removes the ability for an applicant to submit the VOE to the  
            BOP directly if the SLP fails to provide verification to the  
            BOP.

          5)Requires the SLP to submit VOE to the trainee in the manner  
            prescribed by the BOP.

          6)States that if the SLP fails to provide VOE to the trainee in  
            a timely manner, the BOP may establish alternative procedures  
            for obtaining the necessary documentation.  

          7)States that, absent good cause, the failure of a SLP to  
            provide VOE to the BOP upon request shall constitute  
            unprofessional conduct.

          8)Strikes reference to the BOP reviewing and approving  
            applicants as a SLP on a case-by-case basis.

          9)Makes technical and clarifying changes.
          
          Background
          
          Purpose.  This bill is sponsored by the California Board of  
          Psychology.  According to the author's office, this bill  
          simplifies the application process to become a licensed  
          psychologist by requiring the SLP to provide the VOE to the  
          applicant directly, rather than to the BOP, so that the  
          applicant may submit a complete application towards licensure.   








                                                                    AB 1374  
                                                                     Page  4



          This bill also removes fee language from the Business and  
          Professions Code, clarifying that a psychologist can provide  
          psychological services for free, and updates terms defining the  
          practice of psychology to make the definition more applicable to  
          a general license versus a focus on mental health.  

          The BOP is one of 30 regulatory entities which fall under the  
          Department of Consumer Affairs.  The BOP protects consumers by  
          regulating the practice of psychology through the licensing and  
          registration of psychological assistants and psychologists.

          This bill streamlines the psychology licensing process by  
          requiring SLPs to provide the VOE directly to the applicant  
          instead of sending it to the BOP.  The BOP reports that they  
          frequently receive VOEs from individuals who never formally  
          apply, and keeping track of information from various sources has  
          become too complex.  

          Previously, SLPs provided the VOE to the BOP, and the BOP paired  
          this information with the rest of the application submitted  
          separately by the applicant.  If an SLP failed to provide the  
          VOE, there was a mechanism for the applicant to submit the VOE  
          directly to the BOP.  This bill instead will require the SLP to  
          provide the information to the applicant, and then the applicant  
          will submit the VOE to the BOP with the rest of the application.  
           If a SLP does not provide the VOE to the applicant, this bill  
          authorizes the BOP to establish alternative procedures for  
          obtaining the necessary documentation, and states that failure  
          of an SLP to provide the VOE to the BOP upon request will be  
          considered unprofessional conduct.  

          This bill additionally removes references to fees in psychology  
          practice, clarifying that psychologists may practice for free,  
          and that practicing for free does not relieve an individual from  
          regulation.  The author's office indicates that this bill will  
          clarify that insurers may cover a psychologist who does not  
          receive payment for his or her services.

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










                                                                    AB 1374  
                                                                    Page  5



          SUPPORT:   (Verified7/1/15)


          California Board of Psychology (source)
          California Psychological Association


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified7/1/15)


          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:  The California Board of Psychology  
          writes, ["the requirement in current law that VOE forms be  
          submitted by the applicant's supervisor has resulted in] the  
          Board storing large quantities of VOEs that have not had the  
          remaining parts of the licensing application submitted by the  
          applicant. This creates a storage problem and generates extra  
          workload as it becomes necessary to combine applications for  
          licensure with the previously submitted VOE Forms. The result of  
          this legislative change will be VOE Forms arriving with the rest  
          of the licensing application.  This will save storage space at  
          the Board and reduce the time staff takes to locate and combine  
          the various pieces of the application, thus reducing licensing  
          timeframes. 



          "[Current law also] defines the practice of psychology as only  
          occurring when a fee is charged for services. This means that  
          volunteer, pro-bono, or free services could fall outside of a  
          licensee's insurance, and as a result, disincentivize volunteer  
          pro-bono work by licensed psychologists, making payment rather  
          than services provided central to what constitutes the practice  
          of psychology. The primary function of the Board is consumer  
          protection and a consumer should have no doubt that the  
          psychological services he or she is receiving fall under the  
          Board's jurisdiction. The Board's mission is to advance quality  
          psychological services for Californians by ensuring ethical and  
          legal practice and supporting the evolution of the profession."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  77-0, 4/30/15








                                                                    AB 1374  
                                                                     Page  6



           AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Chang, Chau,  
            Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dodd,  
            Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia,  
            Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, 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
           NO VOTE RECORDED: Campos, Chávez, Gomez



          Prepared by: Sarah Huchel / B., P. & E.D. / (916) 651-4104
          7/2/15 10:26:09


                                   ****  END  ****