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AB-107 Licensure: veterans and military spouses.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/20/2021 09:00 PM
AB107:v96#DOCUMENT

Revised  May 20, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 20, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 24, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  February 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 107


Introduced by Assembly Member Salas
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Smith)
(Coauthor: Senator Dodd)

December 16, 2020


An act to amend Sections 115.6 and 5132 of of, and to add Section 115.8 to, the Business and Professions Code, and to add Section 95 to the Military and Veterans Code, relating to licensure, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 107, as amended, Salas. Licensure: veterans and military spouses.

(1)Under

Under existing law, the Department of Consumer Affairs (department), under the control of the Director of Consumer Affairs, is comprised of various boards that license and regulate various professions and vocations. Existing law requires an applicant seeking a license from a board within the department to meet specified requirements and to pay certain licensing fees. Existing law requires a board within the department to issue, after appropriate investigation, certain types of temporary licenses to an applicant if the applicant meets specified requirements, including that the applicant supplies evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant is married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is assigned to a duty station in this state under official active duty military orders and the applicant submits an application to the board that includes a signed affidavit attesting to the fact that the applicant meets all of the requirements for a temporary license and that the information submitted in the application is accurate, to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. Under existing law, some of the funds within the jurisdiction of a board consist of revenue from fees that are continuously appropriated. Existing law authorizes a board to adopt regulations necessary to administer these provisions.
This bill would expand the requirement to issue temporary licenses to practice a profession or vocation to include licenses issued by any board within the department, except as provided. The bill would require a board to issue a temporary license within 30 days of receiving the required documentation if the results of a criminal background check do not show grounds for denial. The bill would specifically direct revenues from fees for temporary licenses issued by the California Board of Accountancy to be credited to the Accountancy Fund, a continuously appropriated fund. The bill would require, if necessary to implement the bill’s provisions, a board to submit to the department for approval draft regulations necessary to administer these provisions by June 15, 2022. The bill would exempt from these provisions a board that has a process in place by which an out-of-state licensed applicant in good standing who is married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States is able to receive expedited, temporary authorization to practice while meeting state-specific requirements for a period of at least one year. year or is able to receive an expedited license by endorsement with no additional requirements superseding those for a temporary license, as described above. The bill would make conforming changes. By expanding the scope of the crime of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill’s expansion of the requirement to issue temporary licenses would result in revenues from fees for certain licenses being deposited into continuously appropriated funds. By establishing a new source of revenue for those continuously appropriated funds, the bill would make an appropriation.

(2)Existing law requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a transition assistance program for veterans who have been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States designed to assist them in successfully transitioning from military to civilian life in California. Existing law requires the program to include, among other topics, higher education benefits, vocational training assistance, small business resources and information, and housing information. Existing law establishes the Department of Consumer Affairs in the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency to, among other things, ensure that certain businesses and professions that have potential impact upon the public health, safety, and welfare are adequately regulated. Existing law establishes the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to establish professional standards, assessments, and examinations for entry and advancement in the education profession. Existing law makes it unlawful for a person to engage in the business of, act in the capacity of, advertise as, or assume to act as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson without first obtaining a real estate license from the Department of Real Estate. Under existing law, the State Department of Public Health is responsible for issuing licenses for the operation of health facilities, clinics, and other facilities, as specified.

Existing law provides that these temporary licenses shall expire 12 months after issuance, upon issuance of an expedited license, or upon denial of the application for expedited licensure by the board, whichever occurs first.
This bill would instead provide that these temporary licenses shall expire 12 months after issuance, upon issuance of a standard license, upon issuance of a license by endorsement, or upon issuance of an expedited license, whichever occurs first.
This bill would require the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Department of Real Estate, and the State Department of Public Health to each place a prominently displayed military licensure icon or hyperlink on the home page of its internet website that is linked to information about each occupational board or program for licensure or certification that it administers along with additional information relating to the professional licensure of veterans, service members, and their spouses, as specified. The bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to have a prominently displayed military licensure icon or hyperlink at an appropriate location on its internet website that links to those websites. The bill would also require an annual report to the Legislature containing specified information relating to the professional licensure of veterans, service members, and their spouses.

(3)The

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: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a)If active duty military personnel, veterans, service members separating from military service, and their spouses are able to maintain careers through frequent moves and key transitions, they are able to help support their families while providing critical services to their communities. Yet, if a military spouse is transferred to California, or a service member leaves the Armed Forces of the United States and returns to or remains in California, these professionals may face difficulty transporting their professional licenses obtained in another state.

(b)The process for transferring licenses for professional careers can be long, burdensome, redundant, and expensive and can prevent some military spouses, veterans, and separating service members from obtaining employment in their field.

(c)Removing barriers to license transfers for spouses of active duty service members, separating service members, and veterans would ease the burden of relocation and transition and provide vital stability to military families and the communities they serve.

(d)Prioritizing military spouses as part of state economic recovery efforts must be viewed proactively in a way that recognizes their preexisting challenge of substantially higher unemployment and underemployment than their civilian counterparts and with broader goals, such as bridging gender gaps in wage earning, reducing military and veteran financial insecurity, ensuring successful transitions into veteran life, and fostering successful community participation and sense of belonging.

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

 Section 115.6 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

115.6.
 (a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (i), a board within the department shall, after appropriate investigation, issue a temporary license to practice a profession or vocation to an applicant who meets the requirements set forth in subdivision (c).
(2) Revenues from fees for temporary licenses issued by the California Board of Accountancy shall be credited to the Accountancy Fund in accordance with Section 5132.
(b) The board may conduct an investigation of an applicant for purposes of denying or revoking a temporary license issued pursuant to this section. This investigation may include a criminal background check.
(c) An applicant seeking a temporary license pursuant to this section shall meet the following requirements:
(1) The applicant shall supply evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant is married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is assigned to a duty station in this state under official active duty military orders.
(2) The applicant shall hold a current, active, and unrestricted license that confers upon the applicant the authority to practice, in another state, district, or territory of the United States, the profession or vocation for which the applicant seeks a temporary license from the board.
(3) The applicant shall submit an application to the board that shall include a signed affidavit attesting to the fact that the applicant meets all of the requirements for the temporary license, and that the information submitted in the application is accurate, to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. The application shall also include written verification from the applicant’s original licensing jurisdiction stating that the applicant’s license is in good standing in that jurisdiction.
(4) The applicant shall not have committed an act in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of the license under this code at the time the act was committed. A violation of this paragraph may be grounds for the denial or revocation of a temporary license issued by the board.
(5) The applicant shall not have been disciplined by a licensing entity in another jurisdiction and shall not be the subject of an unresolved complaint, review procedure, or disciplinary proceeding conducted by a licensing entity in another jurisdiction.
(6) The applicant shall, upon request by a board, furnish a full set of fingerprints for purposes of conducting a criminal background check.
(d) A board shall issue a temporary license pursuant to this section within 30 days following receipt of the documentation specified in subdivision (c) if the results of the criminal background check do not show grounds for denial.
(e) A temporary license issued pursuant to this section may be immediately terminated upon a finding that the temporary licenseholder failed to meet any of the requirements described in subdivision (c) or provided substantively inaccurate information that would affect the person’s eligibility for temporary licensure. Upon termination of the temporary license, the board shall issue a notice of termination that shall require the temporary licenseholder to immediately cease the practice of the licensed profession upon receipt.
(f) An applicant seeking a temporary license as a civil engineer, geotechnical engineer, structural engineer, land surveyor, professional geologist, professional geophysicist, certified engineering geologist, or certified hydrogeologist pursuant to this section shall successfully pass the appropriate California-specific examination or examinations required for licensure in those respective professions by the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.
(g) A temporary license issued pursuant to this section shall expire 12 months after issuance, upon issuance of a standard license, upon issuance of a license by endorsement, or upon issuance of an expedited license pursuant to Section 115.5, a license by endorsement, or upon denial of the application for expedited licensure by the board, whichever occurs first.
(h) A board shall submit to the department for approval, if necessary to implement this section, draft regulations necessary to administer this section by June 15, 2022. These regulations shall be adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(i) (A) This section shall not apply to a board that has a process in place by which an out-of-state licensed applicant in good standing who is married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active duty member of the Armed Forced of the United States is able to receive expedited, temporary authorization to practice while meeting state-specific requirements for a period of at least one year. year or is able to receive an expedited license by endorsement with no additional requirements superseding those described in subdivision (c).
(B) This section shall apply only to the extent that it does not amend an initiative or violate constitutional requirements.

SEC. 2.

 Section 115.8 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

115.8.
 The Department of Consumer Affairs, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Department of Real Estate, and the State Department of Public Health shall compile information on military, veteran, and spouse licensure into an annual report for the Legislature, which shall be submitted in conformance with Section 9795 of the Government Code. The report shall include all of the following:
(a) The number of applications for a temporary license submitted by active duty service members, veterans, or military spouses per calendar year, pursuant to Section 115.6.
(b) The number of applications for expedited licenses submitted by veterans and active duty spouses pursuant to Sections 115.4 and 115.5.
(c) The number of licenses issued and denied per calendar year pursuant to Sections 115.4, 115.5, and 115.6.
(d) The number of licenses issued pursuant to Section 115.6 that were suspended or revoked per calendar year.
(e) The number of applications for waived renewal fees received and granted pursuant to Section 114.3 per calendar year.
(f) The average length of time between application and issuance of licenses pursuant to Sections 115.4, 115.5, and 115.6 per board and occupation.

SEC. 3.

 Section 5132 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

5132.
 (a) All moneys received by the board under this chapter from any source and for any purpose and from a temporary license issued under Section 115.6 shall be accounted for and reported monthly by the board to the Controller and at the same time the moneys shall be remitted to the State Treasury to the credit of the Accountancy Fund.
(b) The secretary-treasurer of the board shall, from time to time, but not less than once each fiscal year, prepare or have prepared on their behalf, a financial report of the Accountancy Fund that contains information that the board determines is necessary for the purposes for which the board was established.
(c) The report of the Accountancy Fund, which shall be published pursuant to Section 5008, shall include the revenues and the related costs from examination, initial licensing, license renewal, citation and fine authority, and cost recovery from enforcement actions and case settlements.

SEC. 4.Section 95 is added to the Military and Veterans Code, to read:
95.

(a)The Department of Veterans Affairs shall place a prominently displayed military licensure icon or hyperlink on its internet website, in an appropriate location pertaining to licensure and employment opportunities for veterans, service members, and spouses, that links to the internet websites identified in this section.

(b)The Department of Consumer Affairs, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Department of Real Estate, and the State Department of Public Health shall place a prominently displayed military licensure icon or hyperlink on the home page of their internet websites, linked to information for each occupational board or program for licensure or certification that it administers. In addition to general licensure or certificate information, the following information shall be displayed:

(1)Each licensing agency’s process for expediting applications for service members, veterans, and spouses, including the average processing times for expedited applications and the number of expedited applications requested in the calendar year.

(2)The availability of temporary or provisional licensure, specific requirements needed to obtain a temporary or provisional license, and how long the provisional or temporary license is valid.

(c)(1)The Department of Consumer Affairs shall establish a specific gateway aligned with the existing “Board and Bureau Military Contact Information,” “Expedited Licensure,” and “Renewal Fee Waivers” gateways on their Military Member Resources page, including a list of all boards that provide temporary or provisional licensure, with hyperlinks linking to each board’s military licensure data.

(2)The Department of Consumer Affairs shall establish a “Licensure by Endorsement” section on its internet website listing all boards that offer an option for licensure by endorsement, accompanied by a hyperlink to each board’s military licensure data.

(d)The Department of Consumer Affairs, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Department of Real Estate, and the State Department of Public Health shall compile information on military, veteran, and spouse licensure into an annual report for the Legislature, which shall be submitted in conformance with Section 9795 of the Government Code. The report shall include all of the following:

(1)The number of applications for a license submitted by active duty service members, separating service members, veterans, or military spouses per calendar year.

(2)The number of licenses issued and denied, including reason for denial, to active duty service members, separating service members, veterans, and military spouses per calendar year.

(3)The number of licenses of active duty service members, separating service members, veterans, or military spouses that were suspended or revoked per calendar year.

(4)The number of applications for waived renewal fees received from active duty service members and military spouses per calendar year.

(5)The number of fee waivers issued to active duty service members and military spouses per calendar year.

(6)The average length of time between application and issuance of licenses for active duty service members, separating service members, veterans, or military spouses per board and occupation.

SEC. 5.SEC. 4.

 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.
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REVISIONS:
Heading—Line 3.
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