March 11, 2013 |

Senator Price Convenes Oversight Hearings

Senator Price Convenes Oversight Hearings

State Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. (D-Culver City) will convene oversight hearings of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development this month to examine the operations of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and 13 regulatory bodies within the Department.

Through these hearings and accompanying reports, the Committee performs a top-to-bottom review of boards, bureaus and commissions in DCA, known as “Sunset Review,” and determines whether these entities should continue to operate.

“Oversight is one of the key ways we as legislators can determine whether state government is actually working and when we need to start overhauling our systems. We see bills every year to create new regulation, but I look forward to this important opportunity to evaluate what we have in place and make the necessary changes to promote the health, safety and welfare of Californians,” Senator Price said.

DCA boards, bureaus, and commissions are tasked with ensuring the health and safety of consumers when interacting with professionals offering services, ranging from physicians to real estate agents to veterinarians and hair stylists, to name a few.

Periodic oversight, and questioning whether state licensing and regulation of a profession should continue under its current structure, allows for public input, accountability and transparency of DCA regulatory boards. Certain boards, like the Medical Board of California, have recently come under intense scrutiny for delays in enforcement and other barriers which in essence prevent it from protecting California patients.

A March 11 hearing was tol allow the Committee, working jointly with the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, to learn about the effectiveness and operations of six boards and the DCA: the Medical Board of California; Osteopathic Medical Board; Naturopathic Medicine Committee; Board of Optometry; Board of Chiropractic Examiners and ; Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

A March 18 hearing will focus on the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology; Physical Therapy Board; Board of Occupational Therapy; Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board; Respiratory Care Board; Veterinary Medical Board and; California Council for Interior Design.

Senator Price has served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development for three years, during which time the Committee has reviewed 18 bodies at the DCA. He has also amassed a robust package of consumer protection measures to guarantee the health and safety of Californians when receiving professional services, including SB 62 in the current session to ensure proper reporting of prescription drug deaths, SB 100 in 2011 to establish robust oversight of surgical clinics and SB 706 in 2011 to guarantee enforcement reforms for the Department of Real Estate and Office of Real Estate Appraisers in light of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis and impact on many homeowner victims throughout the state.

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