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AB-1312 College Consultants Act.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/17/2019 09:00 PM
AB1312:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 17, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1312


Introduced by Assembly Member Low

February 22, 2019


An act to add Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 6600) to Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to professions and vocations.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1312, as amended, Low. College Consultants Act.
Existing law authorizes school districts to provide comprehensive educational counseling to pupils through school counselors possessing a valid credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services. Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of various professions and vocations by boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs, including, among others, accountants, attorneys, paralegals, professional fiduciaries, immigration consultants, private investigators, and contractors.
This bill, the bill would enact the College Consultants Act, commencing January 1, 2023, would require each college consultant and college consulting firm, as defined, to submit specific information to the Secretary of State regarding the nature of their business activities on behalf of clients. The bill would require a college consultant to submit a certification to the Secretary of State including various personal information, a statement that the consultant understands the requirements of the act, and other information required by the Secretary of State consistent with the act. The bill would also require a college consulting firm to register with, and submit to, the Secretary of State various information, under penalty of perjury, about the firm’s business and specified registration fees. The bill would require moneys collected pursuant to these provisions to be deposited in the College Consulting Fund, which would be created by this bill, and those moneys would be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for carrying out the purposes of the act. The bill would also require the Secretary of State to make information about college consulting firms and consultants available on its internet website. By expanding the crime of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. Act. The bill would require the Secretary of State, on or before January 1, 2022, and in consultation with the department, to recommend to the Legislature a cost-effective electronic registration process for the registration of college consultants and college consulting firms. The bill would require the registration process to be entirely online, to be made publicly available on the internet website of the Secretary of State, and to provide for the payment of reasonable registration fees by each college consultant or college consulting firm via an online process.
The bill would also require the Department of Consumer Affairs to create the College Consulting Advisory Task Force, consisting of representatives from both the public and private sectors with expertise in education, to provide advice on the college consulting industry. The bill would require the task force, on or before January 1, 2022, to submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature, as provided.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 6600) is added to Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  6.5. College Consultants
CHAPTER  6.5. 
Article  1. General Provisions

6600.
 This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the College Consultants Act.

6601.
 As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Act” means this chapter.
(b) “Business entity” means any organization or enterprise operated for profit, including, but not limited to, a proprietorship, partnership, including a limited partnership or limited liability partnership, limited liability company, firm, business trust, joint venture, syndicate, corporation, or association.
(c) “College consultant” means an individual who receives five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more in income on an annual basis from compensation by, or on behalf of, clients for the purpose of assisting clients in obtaining the process of applying for admission to an institution of higher education or otherwise influencing the actions of admission staff of an institution of higher education on behalf of clients. education.
(d) “College consulting firm” means a business entity, including a college consultant, that receives or becomes entitled to receive five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more in income on an annual basis from compensation for the purpose of assisting a client in obtaining admission to an institution of higher education.
(e) “Client” means an individual who is served by a college consultant or college consulting firm. firm and is a resident of the State of California.
(f) “Department” means the Department of Consumer Affairs.
(g) “Institution of higher education” means a college, university, or other higher educational institution, including, but not limited to, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, or any independent institution of higher education accredited by an agency recognized by the federal Department of Education.

(h)“Task force” means the College Consulting Advisory Task Force.

Article  2. Certification, Registration, and Reporting Registration Process
6602.

(a)Each college consultant shall prepare certifications pursuant to Section 6604 for filing with the Secretary of State as part of the registration of the college consulting firm in which the college consultant is a partner, owner, officer, or employee, or as part of the registration of the college consulting firm by which the college consultant is employed.

(b)Each college consulting firm shall register with the Secretary of State.

(c)A registration statement shall be filed by online or other electronic means.

6603.

(a)Each college consulting firm that is required to file a registration statement under this chapter shall register with the Secretary of State no later than 10 days after qualifying as a college consulting firm.

(b)The Secretary of State shall charge each college consulting firm required to file a registration statement a fee, not to exceed the Secretary of State’s reasonable regulatory costs, per year for the regulation of each college consultant required to be listed on its registration statement.

(c)The moneys collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the College Consulting Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. All moneys in the College Consulting Fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

6604.

A college consultant certification, which shall be submitted under penalty of perjury, shall include all of the following:

(a)A recent photograph of the college consultant, in a size prescribed by the Secretary of State.

(b)The college consultant’s full name, business address, email address, and telephone number.

(c)A statement that the college consultant has read and understands the requirements of this chapter.

(d)Any other reasonable information required by the Secretary of State consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

(e)Registration fees required by Section 6603 shall be paid online at the time a college consultant’s certification is submitted in order for the registration to be active.

6605.

The registration of a college consulting firm shall include:

(a)The full name, business address, email address, and telephone number of the college consulting firm.

(b)A list of the college consultants who are partners, owners, officers, or employees of the college consulting firm.

(c)The college consultant certification of each college consultant in the college consulting firm.

(d)The following information regarding each person with whom the college consulting firm contracts to provide business services:

(1)The full name, business address, email address, and telephone number of the person.

(2)An authorization electronically confirmed by the person.

(3)The time period of the contract.

(4)Information sufficient to identify the nature and interests of the person.

(e)The name and title of a partner, owner, or officer of the college consulting firm who is responsible for filing statements and reports and keeping records required by this chapter on behalf of the firm, and a statement signed under penalty of perjury by the designated responsible person that they have read and understand the requirements of this chapter.

(f)Any other reasonable information required by the Secretary of State consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

6606.

(a)Each registered college consulting firm conducting activities regulated by this chapter shall renew its registration by filing photographs of its college consultants, authorizations, and a registration statement between November 1 and December 31 of each year. Each college consultant shall annually renew their certification in connection with the renewal of registration by the college consulting firm.

(b)If any information in a registration statement changes, an appropriate amendment shall be filed online or electronically with the Secretary of State within 20 days after the change.

(c)The Secretary of State shall establish and maintain on its internet website an online listing of college consultants and college consulting firms. The Secretary of State shall update the listing as soon as possible when new information is received.

(d)The Secretary of State shall make all information listed on any registration statement and on any amendment, renewal, or notice of termination publicly available on its internet website as soon as possible after receipt.

6607.

A college consulting firm or college consultant shall file periodic reports with the Secretary of State, no less than once per calendar quarter, containing the following information:

(a) The name, business address, email address, and telephone number of the person filing the report.

(b)The total amount of itemized payments received by the college consulting firm or college consultant during the reporting period.

(c)Goods and services used by a college consultant in connection with that consultant’s business activities under this chapter.

(d)Other relevant business information, as determined by the Secretary of the State, needed to assess the business activities of the college consulting firm or college consultant.

6607.5.

This article shall become operative on January 1, 2023.

6602.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2022, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the department, shall recommend to the Legislature a cost-effective electronic registration process for the registration of college consultants and college consulting firms. The registration process shall meet all of the following criteria:
(1) Be in an entirely online format.
(2) Be made publicly available by the Secretary of State on its internet website.
(3) Provide for the payment of reasonable registration fees by each college consultant or college consulting firm via an online process.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this section, to ensure that the Secretary of State recommends to the Legislature a registration process that may, subject to the enactment of subsequent legislation, be implemented on or before January 1, 2023.

Article  3. College Consulting Advisory Task Force

6608.6603.
 (a) The department shall create the College Consulting Advisory Task Force consisting of representatives from both the public and private sectors with expertise in education.
(b) On or before January 1, 2022, the task force shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature, including, but not limited to, best practices in the college consulting industry and other legislative recommendations that may be taken to better regulate the field of college consulting. These recommendations shall be subject to the enactment of legislation by the Legislature.
(c) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under subdivision (b) is inoperative on January 1, 2026, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(d) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.