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Abolition of California Professions Board

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The idea of abolishing the California BPELS is not new.  The Board has been under so-called sunset review requirements for many years, and as such, every few years, must justify its existence.  Typically, in the past, this has resulted in a legislative review committee, beating the board up on its lack of enforcement, its inefficiency, etc. The Board has typically responded by slapping more rules on engineers.  This year, it appears more likely that the Board will sunset, because Arnold is trying to find ways to cut fat from the State gov't.
 
When I was SEAOC President, a few years ago, a similar sunset review was in the process.  SEAOC looked into what would happen, if the Board did expire and found that virtually nothing would change. Instead of having a "stand alone Board" under the Dept of Consumer Affairs that is responsible for regulating the profession, this would now be done by the Dept of Consumer Affairs directly, without a special Board.  Having a Board is beneficial in some states, because the Board is typically composed mostly of engineers, who at least have knowledge of what they are regulating. This has not been the case in California since the days of Jerry Brown.  The CA board is mostly private citizens and only a few token engineers because Jerry felt it was wrong to have "fat cat" professionals do their own regulating.
 
If the California BPELS goes under, this will have minimal effect on California engineers.In fact, it might even be beneficial.  SEAOC, ASCE and others, may be able to work with the new administration and participate directly in the enforcement process, giving the profession more of a say in how we are regulated.