Today, February 14, 2012, Governor Brown signed SB 98, reinstating the California Board of Registered Nursing, which had been dissolved by an automatic sunset provision on December 31, 2011. The Board has been authorized to operate until 2016.
Our office had observed an apparent slowdown in the enforcement filings and hearing settings while Board enforcement activity has been in legal limbo. Presumably Board enforcement will now resume normal litigation activity. Since the Board has 100 days to adopt proposed license discipline decisions, and there is no time limitation for license denial decisions, and the Board did not exist for only about 45 days, few if any cases should have jurisdictional problems.
We have observed a trend over the last year of more aggressive action by the Board in terms of disciplining or denying licenses for less serious drunk driving convictions and seeking discipline for dismissed criminal charges. There seems, however, to be no popular concern that the Board is failing in its job to zealously protect the public. With this latest episode finally over, which had to do more with public pensions than questioning the need for this Board, perhaps the Board can moderate its enforcement push to protect the public in a manner that is just and fair for its licensees and license applicants.