STATE BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
[ 49 PA. CODE CH. 31 ]
Biennial Renewal Fees
[39 Pa.B. 5436]
[Saturday, September 19, 2009]
The State Board of Veterinary Medicine (Board) proposes to amend § 31.41 (relating to fees) as set forth in Annex A. The proposed rulemaking would provide for an incremental increase to the biennial license renewal fee for veterinarians and veterinary technicians over the upcoming five biennial renewal cycles.
The amendment will be effective upon publication of the final-form rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The increased fees would be effective for the renewal period beginning December 1, 2010.
Section 13(b) of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act (act) (63 P. S. § 485.13(b)) requires the Board to increase fees by regulation to meet or exceed projected expenditures if the revenues raised by fees, fines and civil penalties are not sufficient to meet Board expenditures. In recent years, while considering biennial renewal fee proposals from a variety of boards within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, the House Professional Licensure Committee has suggested that the licensing boards set fee increases that are incremental over more than one biennial period. By this proposal, the Board would implement this suggestion. In addition to providing smaller increases for licensees, licensees benefit because the cost of promulgating biennial renewal fee regulations is saved.
Background and Purpose
The Board's current biennial license renewal fees for veterinarians and veterinary technicians were established in 2006. See 36 Pa.B. 4608 (August 19, 2006). At the time the fee was established, it was anticipated that the new fee would enable the Board to balance its revenues and expenses for at least two biennial periods. Under section 13(b) of the act, the Board is required to support its operations from the revenue it generates from fees, fines and civil penalties. In addition, the act provides that the Board must increase fees if the revenue raised by fees, fines and civil penalties is not sufficient to meet expenditures over a 2-year period. The Board raises virtually all of its revenue through biennial renewal fees.
At Board meetings in December 2007, and May 2008, the Department of State's Bureau of Finance and Operations (BFO) presented a summary of the Board's revenue and expenses. BFO projected a deficit of $105,254.45 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007-2008, a deficit of $153,361.88 in FY year 2009-2010, a deficit of $374,361.88 in FY 2011-2012 and a deficit of $748,361.88 in FY 2013-2014. According to the information presented, it would appear that BFO's 2005 projections were insufficient. The major reason for the deficits is that the number of complaints against veterinarians, particularly allegations of negligence or malpractice which require substantial resources to investigate, review and prosecute, have increased. As a result of the projected deficits, BFO again recommended that the Board raise fees to meet or exceed projected expenditures, in compliance with section 13(b) of the act.
BFO recommended increasing the renewal fee for veterinarians to $450 and increasing the renewal fee for veterinary technicians to $115. Upon consideration of the HPLC's recommendation that the Board adopt an incremental increase rather than sporadic, large increases, the Board determined that it would accept the HPLC's recommendation such that a figure close to BFO's recommendation would be achieved over three biennial renewal periods rather than immediately. The Board's proposal would create the following fee schedule over the next 10 years:
Veterinarians Veterinary Technicians Current $ 300 $ 75 November 2010 $ 360 $ 90 November 2012 $ 400 $ 100 November 2014 $ 440 $ 110 November 2016 $ 490 $ 120 November 2018 $ 540 $ 130 November 2020 $ 590 $ 140
In spite of the proposed increases, the Board's new fees will be less than some surrounding states, but will be higher than other surrounding states. The Board is not aware of any other state that has adopted an incremental fee schedule.
Description of Proposed Amendments
Based upon the expense and revenue estimates provided to the Board, the Board proposes to amend § 31.41 to increase the fee for biennial renewal of licenses for veterinarians from $300 to $360 for the first biennial period following promulgation of the regulation, and in accordance with the schedule previously listed, over the next five biennial periods. This incremental increase should be less burdensome on the Board's licensees while allowing the Board to meet its statutory obligations.
The proposed rulemaking will increase the biennial renewal fee for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. The proposed rulemaking should have no other fiscal impact on the private sector, the general public or political subdivisions.
The proposed rulemaking will require the Board to alter some of its forms to reflect the new biennial renewal fees: however, the proposed rulemaking should not create additional paperwork for the private sector.
The act requires that the Board monitor its revenue and cost on a FY and biennial basis. Therefore, no sunset date has been assigned.
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on September 2, 2009, the Board submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking and a copy of a Regulatory Analysis form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Senate Consumer Professional Licensure Committee and the House Professional Licensure Committee. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.
Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC may convey any comments, recommendations or objections to the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. Comments, recommendations or objections shall specify the regulatory review criteria which have not been met. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final-form publication of the rulemaking, by the Board, the General Assembly, and the Governor of comments, recommendations or objections raised.
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, suggestions or objections regarding this proposed rulemaking to Michelle Roberts, Administrative Assistant, State Board of Veterinary Medicine, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649, within 30 days of publication of this proposed rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Reference No. 16A-5723, Biennial Renewal Fees, when submitting comments.
THOMAS J. MCGRATH, D.V.M.,
Fiscal Note: 16A-5723. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 49. PROFESSIONAL AND VOCATIONAL STANDARDS
PART I. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Subpart A. PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS
CHAPTER 31. STATE BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
§ 31.41. Schedule of fees.
An applicant for a license, certificate or service shall submit a payment at the time of the request under the following fee schedule:
[Veterinarians] Veterinarian fees for services: * * * * [Biennial renewal $300] * * * * * Veterinarian biennial renewal: Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2010—November 30, 2012 $360 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2012—November 30, 2014 $400 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2014—November 30, 2016 $440 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2016—November 30, 2018 $490 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2018—November 30, 2020 $540 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2020—November 30, 2022 $590 * * * * *
Veterinary [technicians] techincian fees for services: * * * * *
[Biennial renewal $75] * * * * * Veterinary technician biennial renewal: Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2010—November 30, 2012 $90 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2012—November 30, 2014 $100 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2014—November 30, 2016 $110 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2016—November 30, 2018 $120 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2018—November 30, 2020 $130 Biennial renewal fee for biennial period December 1, 2020—November 30, 2022 $140
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 09-1721. Filed for public inspection September 18, 2009, 9:00 a.m.]
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