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AB-651 Endowment care cemeteries: examination, investigation, and discipline.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/12/2021 09:00 PM
AB651:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 651


Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson

February 12, 2021


An act to amend Section 7613.1 of, and to add Section 7688 to, the Business and Professions Code, relating to cemeteries.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 651, as introduced, Gipson. Endowment care cemeteries: examination, investigation, and discipline.
Existing law, the Cemetery and Funeral Act, establishes the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs and sets forth its powers and duties relating to the licensure and regulation of cemeteries, crematories, funeral establishments, and their personnel. Existing law authorizes a cemetery authority that maintains a cemetery to place its cemetery under endowment care and establish, maintain, and operate an endowment care fund.
Existing law requires the bureau to examine the endowment care funds of a cemetery authority at least once every 5 years, and under specified circumstances, including if the cemetery authority in charge of the endowment care funds fails to file a required report. Existing law authorizes the bureau to make or cause an investigation of a licensee upon the filing of a complaint.
This bill would require the bureau to examine the endowment care funds of a cemetery authority if the bureau receives a valid complaint alleging the authority has engaged in financial misconduct or neglect of duties.
Existing law provides that a licensing entity of the department retains the authority to institute or continue a disciplinary proceeding against a licensee, despite the suspension, expiration, or forfeiture by operation of law of a license, or its surrender without the written consent of the licensing entity, as provided.
This bill would specify that the director retains jurisdiction to proceed with any investigation of or action or disciplinary proceedings against a cemetery licensee and its officers, agents or employees, or to render a decision suspending or revoking the license, despite the cemetery licensee’s voluntary surrender of the license, as provided.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 7613.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

7613.1.
 The bureau shall examine the endowment care funds of a cemetery authority:
(a) Whenever it deems necessary and at least once every five years.
(b) Whenever the cemetery authority in charge of endowment care funds fails to file the report required by this article.
(c) Whenever the accountant or auditor qualifies his or her their certification of the report that is prepared and signed by a certified public accountant licensed in the state and prepared in accordance with Section 7612.6.
(d) Whenever the bureau receives a valid complaint alleging the authority has engaged in financial misconduct or neglect of duties.

(d)

(e) The reasonable and necessary cost of the examination performed under subdivision (b) or (c) shall be paid by the cemetery authority.

(e)

(f) A certified copy of the actual costs, or a good faith estimate of the costs where actual costs are not available, signed by the director or his or her the director’s designee, shall be prima facie evidence of the reasonable and necessary costs of the examination.

(f)

(g) The actual and necessary expense of the examination under subdivision (a) shall, in the discretion of the bureau, be paid by the cemetery authority whenever the examination requires more than one day and the need for continuing the examination is directly related to identified omissions and errors in the management of endowment care funds.

SEC. 2.

 Section 7688 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

7688.
 Notwithstanding any law, the expiration or suspension of a license by operation of law or by order or decision of the director or a court of law, or the voluntary surrender of a license by a cemetery licensee, shall not deprive the director of jurisdiction to proceed with any investigation of or action or disciplinary proceedings against the cemetery licensee and its officers, agents, or employees, or to render a decision suspending or revoking the license.