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AB-1060 Attorneys: annual license fees: free legal services.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/04/2019 09:00 PM
AB1060:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 04, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1060


Introduced by Assembly Member Gray

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section Sections 6033 and 6140.03 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to attorneys.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1060, as amended, Gray. Attorneys: annual license fees: free legal services.
The State Bar Act provides for the licensure and regulation of attorneys by the State Bar of California, a public corporation governed by a board of trustees. Existing law, until January 1, 2020, requires the board to charge an annual license fee for active licensees of up to $315 for 2019. Existing law requires the board to charge an annual license fee for inactive licensees of up to $65. Existing law requires the board to increase each of the annual license fees by an additional $40, to be allocated only to support nonprofit organizations that provide free legal services to persons of limited means, except to the extent that a licensee elects not to support those activities. Existing law requires that the invoice provided to licensees for payment of the annual license fee provide each licensee the option of deducting $40 from the annual license fee if the licensee elects not to have this amount allocated for these purposes.
This bill would make the $40 fee increase mandatory and would remove the requirement that the fee invoice provide the option of deducting $40.
This bill would include a change in state statute that would result in a taxpayer paying a higher tax within the meaning of Section 3 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, and thus would require for passage the approval of 2/3 of the membership of each house of the Legislature.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6033 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

6033.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the State Bar is expressly authorized to facilitate the professional responsibilities of licensees by collecting, in conjunction with the State Bar’s collection of its annual license fees or otherwise, voluntary and mandatory financial support for nonprofit organizations that provide free legal services to persons of limited means. All funds received for programs related to this section shall be distributed to qualified legal services projects and support centers as provided in Section 6216 without deduction for administrative fees, costs, or expenses by the State Bar. Any fees, costs, or expenses associated with administering this section shall be absorbed within the costs allowed by and paid from the funds specified in Section 6216.
(b) To implement this section, the State Bar, in consultation with the Chief Justice of California, shall appoint a task force of key stakeholders to analyze the mechanisms and experience of bar associations that have adopted programs for the collection of financial contributions from bar licensees and shall propose an appropriate method for facilitating the collection and distribution of voluntary contributions that is best calculated to generate the greatest level of financial support and participation from State Bar licensees, taking into account such issues as the justice-gap between the legal needs of low-income people in California and the legal resources available to assist them. The method and any recommended voluntary contribution amount adopted by the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California shall be implemented for the 2008 fiscal year, and shall be reviewed and adjusted as needed after two years and, thereafter, every five years as needed, in consultation with affected service providers and other key stakeholders.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 6140.03 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

6140.03.
 The board shall increase each of the annual license fees fixed by Sections 6140 and 6141 by an additional forty dollars ($40), to be allocated only for the purposes established pursuant to Section 6033.