Gov. Brown’s veto of SB 975 sends the wrong message to small business

The American Council of Engineering Companies, California (ACEC California) today expressed disappointment with Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of SB 975, authored by State Senator Roderick Wright (D-Los Angeles). Governor Brown vetoed the bill yesterday. The bill would avoid duplicate agency requirements that impose extra regulatoryhurdles, restrict competition and impose extra costs on consumers.

For many decades the State of California through its professional licensing boards has rigorously evaluated, tested and held accountable engineers, surveyors, and architects. These professional Boards–housed under the Department ofConsumer Affairs (DCA)–set standards, administer exams, confirm applicants’ training and experience and enforce professional practice standards. Their primary, overriding mission is to protect the general public.

The problem, which SB 975 addressed, is a growing practice among a variety of third-party state agencies, departments, and even local bodies of unilaterally imposing extra training classes and extra certificate requirements of questionable value on already licensed professionals.

“California’s existing professional licensing system heavily regulates the practice of engineering, land surveying and architecture. Before obtaining a professional license, design professionals must typically complete years of education in a nationally accredited university program, perform additional years of on the job training under the charge of a licensed professional and pass a rigorous multi-day professional exam,” said Paul Meyer, executive director of ACEC California. “Then after earning their license, design professionals must adhere to strict ethical, competence and practice standards or risk losing their license. So, allowing other agencies to require their own extra, duplicative certificates in order to practice makes little sense. SB 975 would simply have corrected that problem, and we are very disappointed with the Governor’s veto. Nonetheless we are pleased that Governor Brown in his veto message acknowledges the problem, and we will certainly work cooperatively with hisadministration to address the issue,” concluded Meyer.

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