CPIL Submits Letter in Opposition to DCA Budget Proposal

CPIL Submits Letter in Opposition to DCA Budget Proposal

SAN DIEGO (February 12, 2019) – The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law's Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) submitted a letter to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) last week opposing the DCA’s budget request in its entirety unless it is amended.

To address a standstill caused by a 2016 policy change at the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency to the review process in regulation-approval, DCA, through its budget proposal, seeks permission to assess $4.61 million over the course of the next three fiscal years to all the boards and bureaus under its purview (on top of the pro rata funds they already pay) to fund a new “Regulations Unit” in DCA’s Legal Affairs Division. According to DCA, this request, and the 2016-imposed third layer of review, is necessary because DCA’s pre-existing two layers of review were unable to prevent 16% of regulations sent to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for final review from being rejected by that agency. DCA asserts in its proposed budget request that this rejection rate is “unacceptable.”  However, DCA will need to justify either the policy change or the Unit beyond the one word “unacceptable.”

As a nonprofit organization that aims to ensure DCA’s licensing boards and bureaus effectively protect patients and consumers, CPIL is supportive of a mechanism by which DCA conducts an appropriate “check” on its boards and bureaus. Unless the proposal is amended to incorporate CPIL’s recommendations discussed in the letter, however, the Unit will not with sufficient certainty provide that check. Instead, it will take money away from these agencies’ ability to protect the public through their respective enforcement programs without any assured or comparable benefit to consumers or patients.

To read the letter in its entirety or find out more information about CPIL please visit CPIL’s webpage.

About Center for Public Interest Law

Founded in 1980, the University of San Diego School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) serves as an academic center of research and advocacy in regulatory and public interest law. CPIL focuses its efforts on the study of an extremely powerful, yet often overlooked, level of government: state regulatory agencies. Under the supervision of experienced public interest attorneys and advocates, CPIL law student interns study California agencies that regulate business, professions, and trades.

CPIL publishes the California Regulatory Law Reporter, a unique legal journal that covers the activities and decisions of over 12 major California regulatory agencies.

In addition to its academic program, CPIL has an advocacy component. Center faculty, professional staff, and interns represent the interests of the unorganized and underrepresented in California’s legislature, courts, and regulatory agencies. CPIL attempts to make the regulatory functions of California government more efficient and visible by serving as a public monitor of state regulatory activity. The Center has been particularly active in reforming the state’s professional discipline systems for attorneys and physicians, and in advocating public interest reforms to the state’s open meetings and public records statutes.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world.  The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates.  The law school's faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 36th nationally among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 29th nationally in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

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