Current law requires state agencies to give a licensee:
- Notice of facts or conduct that may warrant revocation, suspension, annulment, limitation, or modification of a license;
- An opportunity to submit written data, views, and arguments with respect to the facts or conduct; and
- A reasonable opportunity to comply with all lawful requirements except for a willful violation or violation that is a danger to public health and safety.
When a matter pertains to an individual who is licensed to practice an occupation, if mediation is ordered, section 2 of the bill requires a state agency to do the following upon the motion of the agency or licensee after the licensee receives the notice of hearing:
- To include a person who has authority to make prehearing decisions concerning disposition of the issue in settlement and mediation meetings and communications with the licensee; and
- To include a public or private mediator—at the expense of the licensee when the mediator is privately retained—upon the licensee's request.
Administrative law judges are instructed to make themselves available for mediation, without cost, if feasible. Procedures are set for mediation. If mediation fails, the agency may continue to seek discipline upon instituting a disciplinary hearing against a licensee. The office of administrative courts and the division of professions and occupations in the department of regulatory agencies are required to report to specified legislative committees certain information about hearings, mediations, and proceedings held between July 2019 and July 2021.
Section 3 of the bill clarifies that a court may overturn discipline for a failure to follow the requirements of current law or to submit to mediation.
$125,356 is appropriated to the department of regulatory agencies from the division of professions and occupations cash fund to implement the bill. From that appropriation $19,917 is appropriated to the department of personnel for use by the office of administrative courts and $64,575 is appropriated to the department of law.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)