California Board of Accountancy Takes Oppose Unless Amended Position on AB 646 Relating to Disclosures of Expunged Convictions

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By Frannie Winters

AB 646 (Low), as amended January 24, 2022, is a two-year bill that would add section 493.5 to the Business and Professions Code to require a licensing board under the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), including the California Board of Accountancy (CBA), to update information on its online search system regarding licensees who had their licenses revoked due to criminal convictions that are subsequently expunged. Specifically, if a DCA board is provided a certified copy of an expungement order pursuant to section 1203.4 of the Penal Code pertaining to a criminal offense that led to the revocation of a license, the board must either post notification of the expungement order on its website if the person reapplies for licensure or is relicensed, or remove the initial posting on its website that the person’s license was revoked.

At CBA’s March 24, 2022 meeting, staff pointed out a number of concerns with the bill as written and recommended that the Board take an “oppose, unless amended” position on the bill. According to the staff memo, CBA staff has reached out to the author’s office to assess their willingness to clarify that the actions of the Board only apply in situations where all criminal convictions associated with the revocation are expunged; and a revocation that includes both criminal and non-criminal violations be excluded from the requirements of AB 646. Several board members requested the CBA adopt a “support, if amended” position because the author’s office was willing to work with them on amending the bill to include their concerns.  They also clarified that they have no policy concerns with the bill, but are concerned with the implementation procedures attached to items within the bill.  Ultimately, the Board voted to maintain an “oppose, unless amended” position as recommended by staff.

Staff reported that the author’s office has requested that CBA staff compile their proposed amendments and concerns for their review, which may not occur until June. AB 646 is currently pending in the Senate Rules Committee, awaiting its referral to a policy committee.

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