RULES AND REGULATIONS
Title 49--PROFESSIONAL AND VOCATIONAL STANDARDS
STATE BOARD OF PODIATRY
[49 PA. CODE CH. 29]
Biennial Renewal Fees
[32 Pa.B. 4234]
The State Board of Podiatry (Board) amends § 29.13 (relating to fees), by raising the biennial renewal fee for podiatrists to read as set forth at 32 Pa.B. 946 (February 16, 2002).
A. Effective Date
The amendment is effective upon publication of the final-form regulation in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The new fee will take effect January 1, 2003.
B. Statutory Authority
The amendment is authorized under section 14 of the Podiatry Practice Act (act) (63 P. S. § 42.14).
C. Background and Purpose
At its May 28, 2001, meeting, the Board reviewed a summary of its revenues and expenses. The summary, prepared by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational (Bureau) Affairs Revenue Office and the Bureau of Finance and Operations, showed that the Board must raise the biennial renewal fee to meet or exceed projected expenditures.
If the biennial fee is not increased, the Department of State (Department) anticipates that a significant deficit will occur during FY 2003-2004. This deficit is compounded and more critical since this Board fiscally stands on its own and is not contained within the Professional Licensure Augmentation Account (PLAA). Since this Board is not a part of the PLAA, it cannot utilize any fiscal backing to carry it through budget shortfalls. Therefore, any budget shortfall will stop operations of this Board until a positive balance is maintained. A detailed explanation of the background of this fee as well as a description of the fee was published at 32 Pa.B. 946.
D. Comment and Regulatory Review of Proposed Rulemaking
Publication of proposed rulemaking at 32 Pa.B. 946 was followed by a 30-day public comment period during which the Board received no public comments. Following the close of the public comment period, the Board received comments from the House Professional Licensure Committee (HPLC). The Board did not receive comments from either the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee (SCP/PLC) or the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).
The following are the comments submitted by the HPLC and the Board's response:
1. The HPLC asked why the need to increase the fee was not recognized or anticipated by the Board at an earlier time so that fee increases could be phased in rather than resorting to one fee increase?
Section 14 of the act states, ''If the revenues raised by fees, fines and civil penalties imposed under this act are not sufficient to meet expenditures over a 2-year period, the Board shall increase those fees by regulation so that projected revenues will meet or exceed projected expenditures.''
The Department, before recommending or suggesting a fee increase to any board, must be certain that a fee increase is required and to what degree that increase will be necessary. That determination can only be made after tracking revenue and expenses and insuring that increase is essential. When a revised fee is proposed, the Department is hopeful that fee will be adequate to sustain for several fee cycles. The Department then will meet with that particular board and outline the affects of a fee increase and several fee options and the results of each option. A biennial renewal fee increase is not recommended until a deficit is projected for the board.
Until FY 01-02, the Board had sufficient revenue to meet or exceed its projected expenditures. However, when the Department of State implemented the License 2000 program, the $3 million expenditure was apportioned among all 27 licensing boards within the Bureau. This Board was assessed an amount of approximately $11,000 plus maintenance costs. It was at this point that a fee increase was recommended as necessary to avoid a deficit.
2. The HPLC noted that by FY 2005-2006, the Board's projected expenditures will be $53,000 more than the FY 2000-2001 and asked why the expenditures of the Board were expected to increase so sharply.
In an effort to develop a budget and to project expenses over fiscal periods, the Department will usually extend the current expenditure base, using a 3% increase over the previous year base deducting any known nonrecurring items. This will account for inflation and any cost of living increases, which are required to be funded. Therefore, the expenditure base will increase exponentially to account for those increased annual costs. This concept (3%) would be a conservative mirror image for the relative rate of increase of a total budget.
The fee that the Board was assessed for the implementation of the License 2000 program was significant. Once there is a deficit, the amount rolls over into subsequent years. Without a fee increase to cover the expenditures, the Board will be unable to continue its operations.
E. Description of Amendment
Application Current Fee Amended Fee Biennial Renewal Fee $ 175 $ 395
F. Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1
In accordance with Executive Order 1996-1 (February 6, 1996), in drafting and promulgating the regulation the Board considered the least restrictive alternative to regulate costs for services requested by licensees and applicants.
G. Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements
The amendment will increase the biennial renewal fee for podiatrists in this Commonwealth but, otherwise, should have no fiscal impact on the private sector, the general public or political subdivisions.
The amendment will require the Board to alter some of its forms to reflect the new biennial renewal fees; however, the amendment should create no additional paperwork for the private sector.
H. Sunset Date
The Board continuously monitors the cost effectiveness of its regulations. Therefore, no sunset date has been assigned.
I. Regulatory Review
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), the Board submitted copies of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 32 Pa.B. 946 to IRRC, the SCP/PLC and the HPLC for review and comment.
In preparing the final-form regulation, the Board has considered any comments received from IRRC, the SCP/PLC, the HPLC and the public.
Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), this final-form regulation was deemed approved by the HPLC and the SCP/PLC on July 16, 2002. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, this final-form regulation was approved by IRRC effective July 18, 2002.
J. Contact Person
Further information may be obtained by contacting Gina Bittner, Board Administrator, State Board of Podiatry, 116 Pine Street, Post Office Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Board finds that:
(1) Public notice of proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered.
(3) This amendment does not enlarge the purpose of proposed rulemaking published at 32 Pa.B. 946.
(4) This amendment is necessary and appropriate for administering and enforcing the authorizing act identified in Part B of this Preamble.
The Board, acting under its authorizing statutes, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 29, are amended by amending § 29.13 to read as set forth at 32 Pa.B. 946.
(b) The Board shall submit this order and 32 Pa.B. 946 to the Office of General Counsel and to the Office of Attorney General as required by law.
(c) The Board shall certify this order and 32 Pa.B. 946 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(d) This order shall take effect January 1, 2003.
JEFFREY S. GERLAND, D.P.M.,
(Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 32 Pa.B. 4211 (August 24, 2002).)
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 16A-445 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-1519. Filed for public inspection August 30, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]
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