Sacramento, Calif.—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shelved his reorganization plan to eliminate 88 independent regulatory agencies, including the California Veterinary Medical Board (CVMB).
SACRAMENTO, CALIF.—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shelved his reorganization plan to eliminate 88 independent regulatory agencies, including the California Veterinary Medical Board (CVMB).
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In a Feb. 17 letter, the governor's administration told the Little Hoover Commission, charged with reviewing reorganization, to table planned consolidation measures for the state boards, including its 11 medical regulatory agencies. The commission decided Feb. 23 to officially drop the plan, which called for fusing regulatory boards and commission duties under the Department of Consumer Affairs in an effort to automate administrative functions and prevent licensing backlogs.
While Schwartzenegger didn't close the door on consolidation permanently, California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) officials describe the move as a win for veterinarians as well as consumers and pets. CVMA, along with other professional associations, publicly voiced concern about the governor's proposal.
"I think it's a good decision," CVMA Executive Director Valerie Fenstermaker says. "We just definitely believe consumers are best served by an independent board. You need the expert opinions of the veterinarians mixed with the public opinions to get good decisions at this level."
Initially billed as a cost-savings measure, CVMB Executive Director Sue Geranen says she's relieved Schwartzenegger recognized licensing fees fuel licensing boards, rather than tax dollars.
"I can't say I wasn't surprised that this happened, but I'm glad the governor listened to the input from the associations and others who told him there was no cost savings," she says.
Still, two legislative initiatives remain active in the California Senate and House of Representatives, designed for the purpose of implementing Schwartzenegger's plan.
"They're spot bills. One calls for elimination of four or five boards; the other lists all the boards," she says. "This was a big plan the governor withdrew, but I'm sure there are other changes out there."