Department of Real Estate Restoration Bill Moves Forward
The effort to reestablish the Department of Real Estate moved forward last week as C.A.R.-sponsored SB 173 (Dodd) has passed the legislature.
In 2012, the Brown Administration made changes to the state's organizational structure in an effort to streamline government practices. These changes included moving the Department of Real Estate to the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency (BCSH) to function under the Department of Consumer Affairs as a Bureau. SB 173 would return CalBRE to its standing as the Department of Real Estate within BCSH.
Despite the Administration's intention to save the state money and improve operational efficiencies; under the Department of Consumer Affairs, the cost to operate the CalBRE has increased. $3.5 million of CalBRE's budget is diverted through a "pro-rata assessment" (administrative overhead) to the Department of Consumer Affairs. It is estimated that by returning BRE to its former status as a department, the Bureau would save about $3.5 million, all collected through fees paid by licensees. This "pro-rata assessment" is essentially a subsidy of licensees' fees to the DCA. SB 173 passed the legislature with unanimous floor votes in both houses and has been sent to the Governor for signature.