By Jordan Bourque
On September 25, 2020, the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) published notice of its intent to amend sections 2070 and 2071 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations, to increase certain fees associated with veterinarian and university licensure and veterinary technician registration, and add a new fee associated with the approval of schools and institutions offering a curriculum for training registered veterinary technicians, which are set forth in the proposed language. According to the notice, by amending and adopting the proposed regulations, the Board will generate sufficient revenue from fees associated with licensing and registration to perform its regulatory, licensing, inspection, and disciplinary functions.
According to the initial statement of reasons, the Board is a self-supporting, special fund agency that generates its revenues from fees charged for licensing and registration in order to perform its core functions and protect the public. Further, the Board is required to maintain a fund reserve of no less than three months and no more than 10 months of annual authorized expenditures. Notwithstanding its 2018 fee increase rulemaking package, the Board dropped below its statutorily mandated floor of not less than three months of annual authorized expenditures in fiscal year 2017–2018. Further, despite the emergency rulemaking rates proposed in January 2020, the Board continues to run a budget deficit. The Board seeks to increase certain fees to their statutory maximum and add one fee at its statutory maximum to address the deficiency.
According to the initial statement of reasons, revised section 2070 fees will increase for the veterinarian sector in the following categories: application eligibility review, initial license, biennial renewal, temporary license, and delinquent renewal. For the university sector, fees will increase in the following categories: application review, initial license, and biennial renewal. Finally, there will be fee increases under section 2070 for the California State Board Exam and delinquent renewal for veterinary premises.
Proposed section 2071 fees will increase for the registered veterinary technician sector in the following categories: application eligibility review, initial registration, biennial renewal, and delinquent renewal. Further, there will be a new fee for the approval of veterinary technician schools or institutions.
The written public comment period ended on November 9, 2020. On November 10, 2020, the Board held a public hearing on the proposed regulatory action.