Senator Liz Figueroa's (D-Fremont) proposed bill that seeks dissolution of the California Dental Board highlights a number of its actions that have been criticized by other state legislators, according to California Dental Association officials.
The amended SB 26, authored by Senator Figueroa, seeks to disband the Board effective July 1, 2001, although the Board's termination in January 2002 was slated months ago in the bill's original language. The bill now transfers funds from the Dental Board to the Department of Consumer Affairs until the new Dental Board is created. Additional provisions in the bill address the streamlining and revamping of several regulatory boards, all of which are under the administration of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
"The California Dental Board has received repeated criticism by Senator Figueroa and other legislators for its failure to manage a variety of administrative and substantive issues, including delays in implementation of enacted legislation. The most recent round of criticism occurred only last week when the Board canceled a meeting set for June 14," said Liz Snow, Director of Government Relations for the California Dental Association. The meeting had been scheduled to review a proposed dental material fact sheet, whose production and distribution of the fact sheet was long overdue. Among other issues receiving legislative scrutiny include a delay in disciplinary enforcement action and bias against allowing dental hygienists to practice procedures that are within their competence through their education and training.
"We believe the intent was to sunset the Board in January of 2002, and this action simply moves that date up 6 months," added Snow. "Senator Figueroa's bill is a reflection of the checks and balances that provides updated and, in some cases, improved access to quality care for all Californians."