PFAC Government Relations Update

PFAC Government Relations Update – Legislation Recently Enacted into Law

Meredith Taylor and Norine Boehmer, PFAC Legislative Committee Co-Chairs

Jerry Desmond, PFAC Legislative Advocate, Desmond & Desmond LLC

The PFAC leadership, board of directors and legislative committee have been actively engaged in Sacramento during the first quarter of 2019.

The legislative committee is comprised of co-chairs Norine Boehmer and Meredith Taylor, together with committee members Marilyn Kriebel, Stella Shvil, Robert Earnest, Russ Marshall, Richard Lambie, and Tom Behr.

California Politics – 2019

It must be acknowledged that there is a new level of enthusiasm within a Democratic party – dominated political environment.

Led by new Governor Gavin Newsom, Democratic elected officials hold each of the other statewide offices as well: Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, State Controller Betty Yee, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

Democrats also such a numerical advantage in each house of the Legislature that there are approximately 3 Democrats for each 1 Republican legislator. There are currently 28 Democrats and 10 Republicans in the state Senate, and 61 Democrats and 19 Republicans in the state Assembly.  The policy and fiscal committees that consider and vote on specific legislative measures are correspondingly chaired and comprised primarily of Democratic legislators.

2019 Issues

Professional Fiduciaries Bureau

As the year progress, we anticipate that the Bureau will be pursuing new or revised regulations in four different policy areas that would apply to PFAC members. The legislative committee has reviewed preliminary text of the regulations and, with policy direction provided by the PFAC board, has submitted public comments on key provisions. The four regulatory packages are:

  • Client Notification Regulation – a requirement that licensed professional fiduciaries provide clients with a specific notification that they are licensed by the Bureau – Section 4640 of Article 12 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations
  • Advertising Regulation – a requirement that licensed professional fiduciaries provide certain information in each advertisement – Section 4485 of Article 4 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations, and an amendment to Section 4406 of Article1 of the California Code of Regulations
  • Inactive/Retired License Regulation – a framework for licensed professional fiduciaries to apply for and obtain either an inactive or retired license status -Sections 4560-4580 of Article 8 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations
  • Amendments to Citation – revisions to the procedures the Bureau utilizes when citing licensees – Sections 4600 and 4606 of Article 10 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations

Legislation

The two-year, 2019-2020 legislative session is now well underway. Over 2,700 new pieces of legislation have been introduced, and many bills are being calendared for their first hearings in the policy committees of each house of the Legislature. 

Among the bills of interest are the following:

Conservatee Compensation – A proposed prohibition on compensation to a guardian or conservator from funds paid to the ward or conservatee from a government program, including, but not limited to, federal Social Security payments, Medicare, or Medi-Cal – SB 303 [Wieckowski]

Standby Guardianships – A statement of the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to standby guardianships to prevent future acts of family separation in the state – AB 1378 [Irwin]

Definition of “Instrument” – A proposed revision of the definition of instrument under the Probate Code to mean a will, a document establishing or modifying a trust, a deed, or any other writing that designates a beneficiary or makes a donative transfer of property – SB 308 [Jones]

Temporary Conservatorships – Authorization for the court to establish a temporary conservatorship for a period of 30 days or less if the court is satisfied of the necessity – SB 40 [Weiner]

Unnecessary Licensing Requirements – A proposed requirement that the Department of Consumer Affairs conduct a comprehensive review of all licensing requirements for each profession regulated by a board within the department and identify unnecessary licensing requirements – AB 193 [Patterson]

Licensure of Foreign-Born Professionals – A proposed requirement that the Department of Consumer Affairs make recommendations regarding the licensing of foreign-trained professionals with the goal of integrating foreign-trained professionals into the state’s workforce – AB 476 [Blanca]

Nongendered Terms in the Law – A proposal to replace gendered terms with nongendered terms in the laws that apply to the Department of Consumer Affairs – AB 496 [Low]

Licensure Fee Increases – A proposed authorization for each board within the Department of Consumer Affairs to increase every 4 years any fee authorized to be imposed by that board by an amount not to exceed the increase in the California Consumer Price Index for the preceding 4 years – AB 613 [Low]

Maximum on Late Fees – A proposed requirement that the delinquency, penalty, or late fee for any licensee within the department to be 50% of the renewal fee for that license, but not to exceed $150 – AB 768 [Brough]

No License Revocation Based on Student Loan Default – A proposed prohibition against the Department of Consumer Affairs or a board under the department’s jurisdiction from revoking or suspending a license because the licensee is delinquent, or has defaulted, on a student loan – AB 862 [Kiley]

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