Governor Proposes To Expand Department Of Business Oversight Authority And Funding

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom delivered his proposed budget for California's 2020-2021 fiscal year.  The Governor is proposing to rename the Department of Business Oversight as the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation as of the beginning of the next fiscal year (July 1).  If the budget is adopted as proposed, the Department will have 53 new positions and a more than 9% increase in spending authorization.  44 of these new positions and nearly $10.2 million will be allocated to the Governor's consumer financial protection program.  The Department's growth will not stop there, with the number of consumer financial protection program positions growing to 90 in 2022-2023.  The Governor plans to fund this increase initially with available settlement proceeds in the State Corporations and Financial Institutions Funds and later with fees imposed on newly regulated businesses.

The Governor is proposing that the authority of the renamed Department be expanded to debt collectors, credit reporting agencies and fintech companies.  He is also seeking to create a new Financial Technology Innovation Office that will "proactively cultivate the responsible development of new consumer financial products".