With the end of action on September 30 for thousands of measures considered during the 2019 – 2020 legislative session, we have the final outcomes on the measures in which CALI has been engaged on behalf of our members. Here is the update.
COVID-19 Pandemic & Adjustments in the State Capitol
The State Legislature returned this summer after a three-week hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic with new processes to protect legislators, their staffs, and the public as it endeavored to function in a manner that provided the public with the opportunity to engage in accordance with constitutional and statutory requirements. Modifications to normal procedures included:
Enhanced security precautions – temperature checks and checklists upon entry into the building.
Safe distancing – a prohibition on negotiation meetings in the buildings, plus committee meetings reformatted to spread out legislators, the addition of protective barriers in hearing rooms, together with constant cleaning, and a significant reduction in the number of individuals allowed to attend and testify.
Remote participation – via a new, monitored call-in opportunity to ensure public participation.
Abbreviated schedule – the Legislature retained its scheduled adjournment on August 31, and therefore severely compressed the deadlines for legislation to pass the policy committees, fiscal committees and floors in the second house to a three-week August schedule.
An update on a few of this year’s key measures:
Workers’ Status as Employee or Independent Contractor
CALI appreciates the provisions Assembly Member Gonzalez placed into AB 5 of 2019, with the support of the California Labor Federation, that clarify the criteria utilized for the determination of a licensed private investigator’s status as an independent contractor or an employee.
Going forward, and retroactively as well, the Borello criteria and other specific factors set forth in the measure will be utilized for the determination of an individual as an employee or an independent contractor for this profession.
37 follow-up measures were introduced in 2020, with only two moving forward to the Governor’s desk.
The Governor signed into law AB 2257[Gonzalez] that restructures the provisions in the Labor Code and continues the AB 5 provision CALI achieved with AB 5.
Proposition 22 on the November 3 statewide ballot would amend the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex ABC test provision for app-based drivers. This expensive, contentious effort is sponsored by Uber \ Lyft \ DoorDash.The Proposition would not impact the AB 5 provision that pertains to licensed private investigators.
Licensed Private Investigators Organized as LLCs
CALI-sponsored provisions now included in SB 1474 [Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development]] extends the January 1, 2021 statutory sunset on the authority of state-licensed private investigators to have their businesses organized as LLCs. The bill extends the authority for three additional years, until January 1, 2024.
Our appreciation is extended to Senator Mike Morrell who authored the original legislation authorizing licensed private investigators to be organized as LLCs, who spearheaded the issue again this year with SB 1271 and ensured the provisions would be place into the committee-authored bill.
As this article goes to print, the measure is on the Governor’s desk for his consideration.
Peace Officer Background Investigations
AB 3341 [Muratsuchi] proposed that the extensive background investigation for peace officers be conducted by a peace officer who has completed all applicable training offered by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training [POST].
CALI presented and discussed with the author revisions that would ensure that licensed private investigators who have completed the same POST training will be able to continue to provide these background investigations.
The measure did not move forward this year as the author prioritized the measures he would pursue within the compromised legislative session due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DMV Record Inspection and Sale
SB 1121 [Dahle] proposed to prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from selling or permitting the inspection of vehicle registration and driver’s license information. The key concern the bill was intended to addressed is DMV making money from the sale of personal information in its records.
CALI discussed our concerns with the author soon after the measure was introduced and in advance of this year’s Campaign for CALI legislative advocacy day in the State Capitol.
Through these informal discussions CALI confirmed that the measure would not move forward this year.
The Governor has signed into law SB 908 [Wieckoswki] legislation establishing a new Debt Collection Licensing Act in law. The bill creates a new licensing law applicable to debt collectors and debt buyers, administered by the Department of Business Oversight [DBO].
With the direct engagement of our members in an extensive advocacy efforts, CALI actively pursued an understanding that the broad provisions of the measure would not impose an overlapping, duplicative license requirement for licensed private investigators whose acts could be indirectly involved in the collection of debts.
Thanks to the efforts of CALI Past President \ Chairman of the Board Jay Rosenzweig, his representative Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel worked effectively to obtain an agreement of the author to submit a letter to the Assembly Daily Journal assuring that this is not the intention of the author. The letter was submitted on August 30, prior to the passage of the measure through the Assembly, and states:
“In order to provide clarification on my Senate Bill 908, to the degree that any is needed, I'd like to submit a letter to the journal to state that my legislative purpose behind Senate Bill 908 does not include requiring licensure for conduct and activity covered under the existing Private Investigator Act (Chapter 11.3 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, commencing with§ 7512).”
Wait Time for License Renewals
CALI-supported SB 878 [Jones] requires each BSIS and each board within the Department of Consumer Affairs that issues licenses to prominently display the current timeframe for processing initial and renewal license applications on its internet website.
The CALI GAC was pleased to testify and advocate in support of this measure. Governor Newsom has signed the bill into law.
License Reciprocity with Other States
CALI was concerned with the provisions of AB 2185 [Patterson] that proposed to require BSIS and each board within the Department of Consumer Affairs to issue a license to an applicant if the person currently holds a license in good standing in another state in the same discipline and practice level.
The bill would have required that person to meet specified requirements, including that the person has held the license and has practiced in the licensed field in the other state for at least 3 of the last 5 years and pays all applicable fees.
CALI worked with the author and ensured that its provisions would not supersede the PI Act provision that conditions reciprocity on the other state providing the same recognition to California licensees — as set forth in the PI Act.
Ultimately, the measure did not move forward.
CALI Government Affairs Committee
Thanks to the committee members whose learned perspective and insights have guided our efforts, positions and strategies again this year:
Frank Huntington, III