Fall 2013      |      Stephen P. Sands, Registrar      |      Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor


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Governor Signs Contractor-Related Bills; Others Pending

Two bills that CSLB sponsored to help protect consumers and exact more fitting sanctions against illegal contracting have been signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

Senate Bill 261 adds administrative penalties to existing Contractors State Licensing Law for licensed or unlicensed contractors who commit violations related to the fraudulent use of a contractor license. It adds a new section to the Business and Professions Code: B&P Code section 7114.2.

SB 262 amends Section 7068.1 of the Business and Professions Code. It allows CSLB to take disciplinary action against a qualifier and the licensed entity they are qualifying when a qualifier is not actively involved in the construction activities of the license he or she is qualifying. In addition to administrative penalties, the individual falsely serving as a qualifier on the license is subject to a misdemeanor criminal charge, with a penalty of up to six months in jail, fine of up to $5,000, or both, upon conviction.

Two other bills that CSLB sponsored, Assembly Bill 993 and SB 263, were designated as two-year bills scheduled to be taken up by the Legislature in its 2013-14 session. AB 993, in its current form, would make several changes to CSLB's arbitration system. SB 263, as introduced, proposes that contractors who were licensed at the time of a contract, but subsequently worked out of classification, or under a suspended, inactive, or expired license could still be paid for work that was done in the period they were properly licensed.

Below is the status of other bills pertaining to the contracting industry at the time of publication:

Signed by governor and chaptered into law:

AB 44—Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act: Bidding Practices

The bill amends Public Contract Code section 4104, the Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act, to require that prime contractors specify the contractor license numbers of subcontractors who will perform work on bids for public works projects.

AB 811 — Excavations

The bill amends existing law to require regional notification centers to post on their websites statewide information provided by operators and excavators regarding legal violations and damages resulting from violations.

AB 1236 — Contractors: Limited Liability Companies

The bill amends existing Contractors State License Law that states insurance policies secured to satisfy limited liability company provisions are required to be written by an insurer or insurers licensed by the state, and also permits those policies to be written by an eligible surplus line insurer.

AB 164 — Infrastructure Financing

The bill extends California's "Little Miller Act" by requiring a lease agreement between a governmental agency undertaking an infrastructure project and a private entity to include performance bonds as security to ensure the completion of construction, and payment bonds to secure the payment of claims of laborers, mechanics, and materials suppliers employed on the project under contract.

On the governor's desk:

AB 433 — Fire Protection Systems

The bill would, until January 1, 2017, permit a contractor who holds a C-16 Fire Protection or C-36 Plumbing classification to install a residential fire protection system for a one- or two-family dwelling.

SB 822 — Delinquency Fees

The bill would provide that CSLB licensees who submit an incomplete renewal application on or before the license expiration date will receive the application back with an explanation, and have 30 days to correct and resubmit the renewal and not be required to pay the renewal delinquency fee.

Bills moved to two-year status:

AB 186 — Temporary Licenses

The bill would require a board under the Department of Consumer Affairs to issue a temporary license to an applicant who qualifies for, and requests, expedited licensure if that person is married or in a domestic partnership or union with a member of the Armed Forces assigned in California, if he or she meets specified requirements.

AB 972 — Employment of Electricians: Certifications

The bill would amend existing law to allow misdemeanor charges to be filed against contractors and subcontractors who fail to comply with payroll record requirements for public works project workers, including failure to include the state certification number of electricians on those projects.

AB 1114 — Home Improvement Contracts

The bill proposes amending Contractors State License Law to raise the $5 referral fee maximum between two contractors.

SB 417 — Public Building and Works: Contractor Qualifications

The bill would authorize state and local agencies subject to the State Contract Act and the Local Agency Public Construction Act, prior to advertising for construction bids of a public building or public works project, to advise CSLB of any supplemental license, certification or education required of a contractor to qualify to bid on the project. Under the bill, the board would be required to review the supplemental requirements and post them on CSLB's website; requirements not posted before the bid opening would not apply to the contract bidding process.

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