Bill description: SB 1316 would establish a reciprocal relationship between licensees and a state licensing agency by allowing the prevailing party in a legal dispute to recoup attorney’s fees and investigative costs from the other party.
Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?
SB 1316 would treat licensees and state licensing agencies the same as concerns disputes between the two parties. Currently, a licensing agency (e.g., an occupational licensing board, a commission, or a state division) can assess the costs of an investigation, disciplinary proceedings, or other legal fees, on a licensee who is investigated or disciplined by said agency. Though the agency can assess fees on a licensee if the authority prevails, there is no such way for a licensee to assess their own legal fees, or other costs from the proceedings, back on the authority.
SB 1316 would establish a greater level of equality throughout these proceedings as both parties would be subject to the same legal fees and other costs.
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