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January BGG Meeting Summary

A brief summary of the 1/25/05 BGG Meeting provided by Vice-Chair Charles Nestle:

On January 25, 2005 the Board for Geologists and Geophysicists held an Executive Committee meeting to update and expand the Board’s response to the Governor’s Reorganization Plan 1 (GRP1) in preparation for the Little Hoover Commission (LHC) hearings the following three days. Board members Craig Copelan, Robert Matthews, and William Black; Executive Officer Paul Sweeney; and Board Council Gary Duke were present. Also in attendance were AEG lobbyist Judy Wolen, AEG Sacramento Section Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Chair Marcia Kiesse, public member Robert Tepel, and AEG So. Cal. Section vice chair Charles Nestle.

The meeting opened with a discussion of the proposals discussed in the GRP1 and the document’s flaws. A one-page summary (“highlights”) of the GRP1 is found on the DCA’s web site at: (the typo is theirs). The entire document can be found at: (there are only 16 pages of text – the rest are appendices).

In a nutshell, the Governor claims his reorganization plan is “designed to enhance the accountability, efficiency, and responsiveness of state government.” Under this plan the board’s existing oversight and regulatory functions would continue to occur and be carried out by the Department of Consumer Affairs. Instead of reporting to a board, board staff and employees would report to the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (or the BGG could be transferred to the State Consumer Services Agency [GRP1, Appendix 2]).

An excellent analysis of the flaws of the GRP1 is provided by one of the invited participants of the Little Hoover Commission hearings – the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego ( What makes their analysis particularly relevant is that since this organization’s inception in 1980 they have supported structural reorganization and elimination of California’s boards. That they are so strongly against the proposed restructuring plan speaks loudly of the failures of that plan.

Paul Sweeney read a draft letter prepared by the BGG to the Little Hoover Commission, which was followed by a lively discussion of the tone the letter should take and how much information it should include. Two drafts later the letter was voted on and approved by the board members without further comment from the public attendees. Copies of this letter will be available at the February 8 Section meeting.

The Little Hoover Commission advises the Governor and the Legislature as to whether the plan should be accepted or rejected, and they may also provide recommendations for improving and implementing the plan. Since the LHC cannot revise the plan, they must recommend that it be either accepted or rejected, at which point the Legislature reviews the plan written in bill form. The Legislature may then accept or reject the GRP1. If they reject it (which is likely) they may then write their own reorganization legislation for the Governor’s signature, or do nothing at all (at which point the Governor will “bring it to the people”).