AB 1379 (Thurmond) – Certified Access Specialist Program
In 2008 legislation, SB 1608 (Corbett) required at least one building inspector in each local jurisdiction be a certified access specialist (CASp). A CASp is a consultant/inspector who has been tested and certified by the state of California Division of State Architect as an expert in disability access laws. SB 1608 set up a process whereby business owners can voluntarily hire a CASp specialist to inspect their buildings to ensure compliance with disability access standards and obtain an inspection report. Building inspector CASps play a crucial role in preventing accessibility violations as they provide permitting and plan check services for new construction, as well as renovations requiring permits. These activities ensure people with disabilities are not denied equal access to places of public accommodations and can fully participate in society. SB 1608 also required each local jurisdiction to have a sufficient number of local building inspectors, but no less than one certified CASp.
Current law, which funds the program with a one dollar fee on business licenses sunsets on December 31, 2018. AB 1379 is intended to provide additional resources to local jurisdictions to assist with CASp training and certification of local building inspectors by increasing the business license and building permit fees. The bill will also extend the sunset date.