CLSA Legislative Report
CLSA Legislative Advocate
The California legislature is in the final stages of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session and will adjournment on Wednesday, August 31. Governor Brown has until September 30 to act upon legislation sent to him by the legislature. Unless legislation contains an urgency clause or a delayed operative date, all enacted legislation become law effective January 1, 2017.
The CLSA Legislative Committee reviewed many bills throughout the session that directly affect the land surveying profession and indirectly affect the business environment and governmental process within which the profession performs its activity. Additionally, there were several topic related discussions that the committee participated in, such as a dialogue with related professional organizations regarding revisions to the LSA scope of practice Section 8726.
I will attempt to summarize the legislation and topics of interest to CLSA members and a more complete summary will be provided once the governor completes his action.
SB 885 (Wolk) - design professional indemnity: provide design professional indemnity for the negligence of third parties for which the design professional is uninsured. CLSA strongly supported this ACEC effort and participated in grassroots meetings with legislators in their district, as well as provided testimony at legislative hearings. Notwithstanding the fact that the bill ultimately failed passage, the coordinated activity of the design professions clearly articulated an emerging issue to legislators.
Status: held in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
SB 1085 (Roth) - license renewal assessment: BPELSG sponsored legislation amending various provisions of the LSA. Specifically, the bill requires an applicant for licensure renewal to complete a board-administered online assessment to reinforce the knowledge of Board regulations and applicable statutes which are the frequent cause of public complaints. Although CLSA initially adopted a "not favor" position because of ambiguities, CLSA ultimately took a support position as the bill was amended to eliminate our concerns.
Status: Sent to the Governor.
SB 1099 (Cannella) - scope of practice rewrite: revised provisions to the LSA relating to land surveyor scope of practice as provided for in Section 8726. Rather than immediately address statutory changes, CLSA recommended an alternative approach to convene various professional organizations to define areas of unauthorized practice, develop an interdisciplinary educational approach with allied industries, and enhance the BPELSG enforcement authority before approaching the legislature for statutory changes. A subcommittee of the CLSA Legislative Committee was assigned the task of working with various professional organizations to develop a consensus alternative approach.
Status: Dead/not pursued by the author.
SB 1445 (Hertzberg) - tax on services: this legislation proposed that the California sales tax be extended to various services, including land surveyor services. CLSA strongly opposed this legislation and joined forces with a coalition established by the Cal Chamber that included many professions and major corporate entities. Notwithstanding the fact that the bill did not move, the topic of broadening the sales tax to services is a continuous tax reform topic because of California's reliance on revenue generated by a fluctuating income tax and the sales tax on consumer goods.
SR 57 (Nielsen) - national surveyors week: a resolution recognizing the week of March 20 through March 26, 2016 as National Surveyors Week. A special thanks to CLSA President Roger Hanlin for asking his Senate representative to author the resolution.