Brown Calls for Revised Bill To Extend Powers of Nurse Licensing Board
Gov. Jerry Brown (D)Â recently vetoed legislation (SB 538), by Sen. Curren Price (D-Inglewood), that would have extended the California Board of Registered Nursing's powers, but he called on lawmakers to quickly pass a revised bill, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Background on the Bill
The board's authority to discipline or license California's 400,000 registered nurses is set to expire on Jan. 1, 2012. The bill would have extended the board's powers for an additional four years.
The measure included a provision that classified certain investigators working for the board as peace officers. It aimed to speed the investigations of complaints against nurses by giving the investigators subpoena power and access to criminal records across the state.
The provision also would have made the investigators eligible for more generous pensions.
Details of Brown's Veto
Brown wrote in his veto message that the measure "makes no sense fiscally and flies in the face of much needed pension reform."
Brown noted that the board has operated for 106 years without "these enhanced benefits and should continue to do so."
He added that the Legislature should pass a revised bill as soon as possible.
Response to the Veto
Louise Bailey, the board's executive officer, said the board had been unaware that the governor was concerned about the provision affecting the investigators. She said the issue could have been easily fixed if the board had known about the issue.
Price urged his fellow lawmakers to pass a revised bill in a special session or when they return from recess in January.
Melissa Figueroa -- a spokesperson for the State and Consumer Services Agency -- said that if the board is not reinstated by January, its functions and staff will temporarily be folded into the state Department of Consumer Affairs (Sewell, Los Angeles Times, 10/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.