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California Contracting Law: Here's How You Can Get Involved

Licensees have the ability to shape state laws and regulations that govern home improvement contracting and other aspects of the construction industry before they are enacted. There are opportunities during the hearing and legislative processes to speak and submit written comment in support or opposition of proposals or to suggest amendments.

Your elected Senate and Assembly members introduce bills that become law when signed by the governor. CSLB is governed by and enforces the laws related to home improvement contracting and the construction industry. If greater specificity is needed to implement or carry out these duties, CSLB (or any other state agency) can propose regulations to do so.

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Legislative Process
The process begins when a bill is introduced in the Senate or the Assembly by a legislator. The bill goes through at least one policy committee hearing during which legislative committee members hear testimony from the author(s), supporters, opponents, and the public. Before or during the committee process, the bill may be amended. If members of the public are unable to attend the hearings, they may submit comments to the author or the committee that is hearing the bill via email, regular mail, or facsimile.

When the bill makes it to the Senate or Assembly floor for a vote of the entire house, you may contact representatives' offices to let them know how you would like them to vote on the bill of interest. If the bill passes the house of origin, it must go through the same process again in the other house. During this time, the legislation may continue to be amended and the public can continue to provide input.

After a bill passes both houses, it goes to the governor, whose office may also be contacted with comments regarding the bill. When a bill is signed into law, it generally takes effect on January 1 of the following year.

Regulatory Process
Regulations must be approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) following the rulemaking guidelines in the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).

To start the rulemaking process, a state agency notifies the public by having the proposed regulatory action published in the California Regulatory Notice Register . A notice is sent by mail to those who have filed requests for notification of regulatory action with the proposing agency, and is posted on the agency's website. Once the notice is published on the Register, the process is officially under way.

The APA requires that the public be given at least 45 days to submit written comment, and the agency proposing the regulatory action typically holds a public hearing on the subject. During this time the public may present oral comment or submit comment in writing. Any substantive changes to the proposal that are compatible with the original intent of the proposal the agency makes based on public comment or the agency's initiative must be noted and posted on the agency's website, and the public (the individual commenters, specifically) must be given at least 15 days to submit comment.

The state agency has one year from the date the proposal is printed in the notice register to submit its completed proposed rulemaking package to OAL. OAL then has 30 days to review whether the agency has followed the procedural and legal requirements in the APA. If the agency has done so, the regulation is approved and filed with the Secretary of State (SOS), where it takes effect 30 days after approval and filing, or upon filing with SOS in some cases. If OAL determines the agency has failed to follow the APA rulemaking process, disapproval is noted in the Register. The agency may then revise the text, give a 15-day public notice for comment, and resubmit it to OAL within 120 days. The agency may also appeal to the governor.    | previous    |    next