The California legislature renamed and expanded the powers of the Department of Business Oversight with virtually no opportunity to comment on the legislation. On August 25, 2020, Assembly Member Monique Limón gutted AB 1864 and amended it not only to redenominate the DBO as the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation but also to create the California Consumer Financial Protection Law.
The gutting was easy because AB 1864 had up to that point consisted of a single sentence: "It is the intent of the Legislature to enact statutory changes, relating to the Budget Act of 2020". The amending was precipitous, for in less than a week both the Senate and the Assembly had approved the bill sent it on its way to the Governor Newsom's desk for signature. It seems a that the legislature has little regard either for deliberation or meaningful opportunities for public input and comment.
Now that AB 1864 is law, the public will at last be afforded an opportunity to provide input to the newly christened Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. "Listening sessions" will be held at 1:00 p.m. on November 16 and December 8. Each session is scheduled for 90 minutes and will include Commissioner Manuel P. Alvarez and members of the Department’s legal and enforcement staff. The Department will provide an overview of the law and then open the call to 2-minute question or comments from individuals. Information on how to call in may be obtained from Cassandra DiBenedetto at Cassandra.DiBenedetto@dfpi.ca.