On October 9, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 176, the licensing fee increase.
Response Statement from Alan Steinbrecher, Chair, Board of Trustees
“This is an important milestone for the State Bar. Approval of this fee increase demonstrates recognition by both sister branches of government that achievement of the State Bar’s mission of public protection, furthering access to legal services, and increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession requires that the agency be appropriately funded. For most attorneys, the increase is moderate, considering the 20 years the base fee remained unchanged; the increased income threshold for scaling will assist lower income attorneys in managing the impact of the increase. We are grateful to the Legislature and the Governor for this progress and look forward to working with our stakeholders in the coming legislative term to arrive at a multiyear fee bill and a more predictable process for seeking fee adjustments as needed over time.”
Response Statement from Leah T. Wilson, Executive Director
“The increase will enable the State Bar to add an additional 19 positions to the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel, to begin making needed investments in technology and building maintenance, and perhaps most significantly, to extend a fair and equitable retiree health benefit to all staff for the first time in the State Bar’s history. The law provides for future phasing in of technology and capital improvements, enabling us to continue making much-needed infrastructure improvements.”