From: Charles Greenlaw <cgreenlaw(--nospam--at)speedlink.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 14:58:05 -0700
At 12:27 PM 4/30/99 -0700, you wrote, in reply to my report of the
California PE Board seeking legislation to provide a "retired" PE license,
>Is this for real? I find it hard to imagine that anyone would actually
>expend energy on such an assinine proposition.
>Paul Feather PE
>San Diego, CA
Yes, it is real. The bill language appeared in the agenda package to the
Board's April 8 and 9, 1999, meetings.
I subscribe to the long agenda package mailings at my own expense. SEAOC's
Headquarters Office also subscribes to it, but at your expense. I go to as
many of the Board meetings as I can, on my own time, when they occur in
Sacramento. I never see a SEAOC representative at any of those meetings. How
come you find out about PE Board doings from me, and not from SEAOC??
Back to the question: As of early April, a legislator to carry the bill had
not been secured, and there wasn't yet a bill number. But the Legislative
Counsel's Digest was written; everything was ready. There is a certain
prominent consulting engineers and land surveyors lobbying group to which
all (except one, maybe) of the Calif PE Board's PE and LS members belong.
This group's efforts in support of PE Board legislative positions, and vice
versa, has been most striking in recent years. I have video tapes and audio
tapes of much of their testimony before the legislature.
There is already a state law, Bus. and Prof. Code Sec. 462, that authorizes
the PE Board to adopt regulations that provide for an "inactive category" of
licensure, regardless of whether one is retired forever, or merely not
practicing in California for a temporary period of time. Sec 462 however
contains a proviso that a PE going inactive under such regulations must be
permitted to reinstate the license to active status WITHOUT re-passing the
PE Examination. Fee payment (and catching up on any continuing education
requirements that may be in effect) were the only burdens allowed to be put
on the reinstating PE.
The Calif PE Board concocted regulations pursuant to this B&P Code Sec 462,
two years ago. However the proposed rule, to be No.466, DENIED the "inactive
category" PE the right to reinstate without passing the PE Exam anew. The PE
Board members were not willing to adhere to the Legislature's requirements.
Two PE's, myself and the late Joel Lubin, testified to that and many other
deficiencies, in the required public comment hearings of June 19, 1997.
There is a required "plan check" before the Office of Administrative Law
that proposed regulations must satisfy. Consistency with the enabling
statute is among the criteria, and the PE Board's adoption was duly
rejected. One PE Board member, an attorney with a construction firm in
Pasadena, was incensed, and wanted to get the governor to approve the new
reg over the head of OAL. (I was at that Board meeting and saw this
arrogance.) Cooler heads prevailed, and after several more months, the Board
abandoned the regulation route.
But they haven't abandoned their ambitions to force PE's who ever cease
renewing their Calif PE license to retake the PE Exam, and to prevent people
from calling themselves retired PE's here if they haven't been Calif PE's
for a very long time. So they are seeking special legislation separate from
Sec 462 now.
If successful, they would create an anomaly with respect to existing PE Act
Sections 6796 and 6796.3, which apparently would remain, and which provide
for automatic renewal of a license expired for up to three years WITHOUT
re-examination, and for renewal between three and five years without
re-examination at the Board's discretion. Any fool who took the proposed
"retired"-license-for-a-fee option, and couldn't afford to stay retired
after two years, would be worse off than if he or she had simply ceased
renewing, kept the wall certificates, and paid nothing at all.
Don't try to figure it out; it protects the public in ways our poor gifts of
understanding cannot fathom.
But say, who's protecting US from those who claim to protect the public??
Not the Association we pay dues to, not since those dues were raised way up
so we could afford an executive office that would finally do a proper job of
protecting our interests.
Charles O. Greenlaw, SE Sacramento CA