The Little Hoover Commission will be considering the Governor’s Reorganization Plan at hearings next week in Sacramento. I’m on the agenda to testify. The Governor is proposing a major reorganization of state consumer and business regulatory agencies. The plan calls for the creation of a new super-agency to be named the Business & Consumer Services Agency which would be comprised of two departments – the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Business Oversight.
The primary function of the Department of Consumer Affairs is to provide administrative and executive services to an extremely diverse group of professional boards, bureaus and committees – everything from the State Dental Board to the Bureau of Automotive Repair. The Governor now plans to add the Department of Real Estate to this mix. Not since Clytemnestra and Agamemnon has there been such a mismatch.
Although the DRE issues professional licenses, it is fundamentally a business regulatory department that regulates an industry with an enormous impact on California’s economy. The activities of its licensees, such as real estate lending and escrow services, have much more in common with the Department of Corporations than The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings, and Thermal Insulation. My experience as a Deputy Secretary for Business Regulation at the Business, Transportation & Housing Agency leads me to conclude that the DRE belongs with the state’s other principal business regulatory departments (Alcoholic Beverage Control, Corporations and Financial Institutions). Here is my comment letter to the Little Hoover Commission.
If you are concerned about the future of the DRE, you can use this link.