Serving professionals in engineering, environmental,
and groundwater geology since 1957
Legislative Update
by SCAL Section, Legislative Committee Chair Joe Cota

The best news to report this month is that Governor Schwarzenegger has dropped the portion of his reorganization plan for California’s state government that would have eliminated the Board for Geologists and Geophysicists (BGG) along with 88 other boards and commissions. His announcement came several days following a February 14, 2005 conference with his appointed Director of Consumer Affairs, Charlene Zettel, and representatives of CCGO and AEG. We would like to believe that our conference with representatives of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) had much to do with the Governor’s decision to drop parts of his reorganization plan.

As some of you know, BGG is not entirely “out of the woods” yet because this year is a “Sunset Review” year for the board. BGG made it’s presentation to the Sunset Review Committee to extend it’s operations and funding on January 6, 2005. In the past, boards surviving sunset review were granted an average of 4 years until the next statutory sunset period, at which time they would again be reviewed by the Senate Committee to evaluate their usefulness in protecting consumers and disciplining licensees failing to work within the standards of care within their professions. It appears that the sunset review went well this time for BGG because the senate committee introduced SB 228 on February 15, 2005 to extend BGG’s operations beyond the previous sunset date. The extension period is not yet specified in the bill. A summary of the bill is as follows:

    FEBRUARY 15, 2005

    An act to amend Section 7810 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to geologists and geophysicists.


    SB 228, as introduced, Figueroa. Board for Geologists and Geophysicists: sunset date.

    Existing law, the Geologist and Geophysicist Act, provides for the regulation of geologists and geophysicists by the Board for Geologists and Geophysicists, in the Department of Consumer Affairs. Under existing law, the provisions creating the board will become inoperative on July 1, 2006, and will be repealed as of January 1, 2007.

    This bill would extend to unspecified dates the dates on which these provisions are inoperative and repealed.

AEG is in support of this bill and will continue to monitor it’s progress as it progresses through the various committees.

Apparently some Boards of Registration for several of the other professions have not fared as well as BGG and are proposed to be eliminated by AB 1024 (introduced by Assembly Member Walters on February 22, 2005). If this bill passes, licensing for some of the professions would transfer to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), and this would include the Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, the California Architects Board, and the Contractor’s State License Board. A summary of Walter’s bill is as follows:


    AB 1024, as introduced, Walters. Professional vocations: abolition of boards and committees.

    Existing law, within the Department of Consumer Affairs, creates various boards with appointed members, which are charged with the licensing and regulation of certain professions and vocations, including the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board, the Hearing Aid Dispensers Advisory Committee, the California Architects Board, the Landscape Architects Technical Committee, the Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, the Contractors' State License Board, and the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. Existing law creates the Hearing Aid Dispensers Advisory Committee, which advises the Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau of the department on related matters. Existing law, with respect to various other professions and vocations, provides for licensing and regulation of those professions and vocations directly by the Department of Consumer Affairs and staff appointed by the Director of Consumer Affairs.

    This bill would abolish all of the above-referenced boards and the committee, and transfer their responsibilities and duties to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

So far this year, AEG’s lobbyist Judy Wolen has identified 61 bills that may have some importance for AEG from over 2800 new bills already introduced in the legislature this year. Your legislative committee has not finished reviewing these bills. If you would like to assist in the review of these bills I can email a list and summary to interested persons. We would also like to hear from our members about any concerns or comments on other bills they are aware of that were not caught by our lobbyist’s screening process. All proposed legislature can be found at the following link: