National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies
Volume 9, Issue 1
As we start a New Year, we should remember that 2013 is the start of the second 50 years of service by NASCLA to its members. NASCLA was able to make outstanding accomplishments from its creation to its present organization. In 2013 we all are aware of the current economical and governmental conditions that are imposed upon all of us in today’s world. It is during these trying times, now more so than ever, that we realize the increased importance of multiple agencies coming together to address solutions to common problems for the betterment of all. Charged with this intensified need to assist all of its members, the NASCLA Executive Committee recently met at the NASCLA office to set goals for 2013 –the start of our second 50 years. I would like to share with you some of the new and developing, programs and services that the Executive Committee has identified to address the needs of its members. They are: • NASCLA Training In addition to investigator training program development (that is being actively developed) we are also considering executive director training, attorney certification training, recognition/ motivational training and addressing IT/ personnel problems. These items are being addressed by the NASCLA Program Committee with assistance of the NASCLA Model Legislation & Special Projects Committee. • NASCLA Programs The national continuing education database is set to launch this year. This database has the potential of providing a great service and at the same time offering substantial savings to state members. We are also considering developing examinations for other trades. These items are being addressed in the NASCLA Education Committee and NASCLA Accredited Examination Program Committee. • NASCLA Public Relations Increased consumer awareness, improve public image of regulatory boards and encourage more mutual operations (joint unlicensed practitioner stings) are all some of the items that will be addressed by the NASCLA Submarketing Committee. The free Public Service Announcements (PSA) were made available this year to all members. • NASCLA Conferences, Meetings and Sponsorships Making more vendors available and having concurrent training programs at conferences and meetings are some of the things that are being considered. Offering travel assistance to NASCLA Board of Directors from limited funding states. • NASCLA Membership Increase We realize the more people you have pulling on the rope the lighter the pull; for this we are reaching out to more states and home rule jurisdictions.
NASCLA President Message Continued... Inside This Issue: NASCLA President Message ............................ 1 - 2 NASCLA State Member Spotlight ................................ 3
• NASCLA Cloud Based Information Sharing Platform Realizing the need to stay with and use technology, the NASCLA Task Force Committee is exploring a NASCLA App, FaceBook and Twitter account. • NASCLA Contractors Disciplinary Database Sharing of cooperative disciplinary action between states is being considered for this extremely valuable national database.
Meet New NASCLA Members & NASCLA Membership ......................... 4
• NASCLA Publications Expansion Ever-increasing are publication efforts.
NASCLA Committee Reports .............................. 5-8
• NASCLA Office Acquiring additional space at NASCLA offices so that we might offer training sessions and meetings at a savings.
Pending Legislation from the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission ......... 9 Proposed Changes Happening to the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board .............................. 10-11 California Regulatory Agencies Partner with Contractors State License Board to Clean Up Construction Industry . 11-12 NASCLA State Member News .................................... 13 Featured NASCLA Resource ............................. 13
These are some of the goals that NASCLA, by way of its committees, will be working on for ALL of us this year. NASCLA is extremely fortunate to have dedicated and committed committee members assisted by an outstanding staff which makes it possible for this organization to provide the services it does. It is because of YOURS (along with everybody’s) unselfish dedication that this organization is able to mutually assist each other - and therein meet OUR challenges for the next 50 years. I do very much thank ALL of you,
Steve Pinther NASCLA President
NASCLA Calendar of Events .................................. 14
NASCLA State Member Spotlight! In 2005, Minnesota’s then governor, Tim Pawlenty, issued a reorganization order that called for several separate state agencies that had a role in regulating the construction industry to merge as a single division within the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. This new division, named the Construction Codes and Licensing Division, became a “one stop shop” for contractors, building officials, homeowners, and building owners needing to address licensing, plan review, permitting, and building code issues. Since the 2005 consolidation, CCLD has organized itself into business units that are responsible for particular functions rather than single trades. Therefore, the division’s Licensing Unit administers all licensing functions for the various license types issued by the Department including business and personal licenses for residential building and remodeling, electrical, plumbing, high pressure piping, elevators, boilers, and building officials. CCLD currently licenses over 110,000 individuals and businesses and employs 140 staff. The division’s Enforcement Unit investigates complaints against actors in all of these trades as well as allegations of worker misclassification in the construction industry, a significant problem in Minnesota as well as in other states. The Enforcement Unit conducts around 1,500 formal investigations each year, resulting in the issuance of more than 500 enforcement orders. The Building Plan Review unit reviews plans for compliance with the Minnesota State Building Code when public buildings and state licensed facilities are to be constructed in noncode-enforced areas or in those code-enforced areas that don’t have a delegation agreement with the state. Specifically, the staff review plans and specifications for new, additions and remodeled buildings against thousands of building code provisions related to fire and life safety, structural integrity, accessibility for the disabled, fire sprinkler systems, mechanical HVAC systems and energy conservation. There are six regions in Minnesota covered by six regional building officials. They are responsible for the inspection of public buildings and state-licensed facilities when constructed in noncode-enforced areas or in those code-enforced areas that don’t have a delegation agreement with the state. They are inspected to ensure buildings are constructed in accordance with the approved plans previously reviewed by other CCLD staff specialists for compliance with more than a thousand provisions of the Minnesota State Building Code. The major areas are in structural integrity and fire/life safety, but also include accessibility for disabled, mechanical systems, energy conservation and fire sprinkler systems. CCLD staff also conducts plan reviews and inspects plumbing work in all public buildings located in jurisdictions that do not perform their own plumbing inspections. Similarly, CCLD staff and contract inspectors inspect all electrical work performed in jurisdictions that do not have their own electrical inspection programs. CCLD inspectors also inspect boilers, pressure vessels, high pressure piping installations, and elevators statewide. CCLD staff also provides educational seminars to contractors and building officials, and conduct the rulemaking necessary to the promulgation of building codes in the state. 3
Ken Peterson, Comissioner
Meet New NASCLA Members! New State Members: • Alaska Division of Professional Licensing Michelle Johnston, Records and Licensing Supervisor • Johnson County, Kansas, Contractor Licensing Program Sean Reid, Program Manager • Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry Charles Durenberger, Manager, Licensing and Enforcement Services • New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Diana Petrella, Assistant Deputy of Registration and Licensing • North Dakota State Electrical Board James Schmidt, Executive Director
New Contractor Members: • Humphrey Rich Construction Group, Inc. • National Water Services, LLC
• Roper Hanks, LLC • Doug Bolton’s Floor Show, Inc. • Richards Construction
State Membership offers excutive directors and staff from state and local regulatory agencies the ability to exchange information and ideas with other regulators. Associate and Contractor Memberships provide members with the opportunity to network with agency regulators from around the country while Business Members have exposure to possible new clients.
NASCLA Member Benefits • Networking Opportunities with Industry Experts and Representatives
• Continuing Education Opportunities • Opportunity for Committee Service
• Complimentarty Copies of the Annual Membership Directory and Quarterly Newsletter
• Access to the NASCLA Members Only Website To Apply for NASCLA Membership, please visit the following link: www.nascla.org/membership-signup
• Reduced Registration Fees for NASCLA Annual Conferences & Training Seminars 4
NASCLA Committee Reports Find Out What The Committees Current Projects Are For FY 2012/2013!
NASCLA Accredited Examination Program Committee; Heidi Lincer-Hill, Chair • The committee is exploring additional accredited examinations and developing a survey for the NASCLA State Members and Non-Members on other potential accredited examinations. The committee will report the results to the NASCLA Board of Directors in FY 2012/2013. • The committee will be updating the NASCLA Accredited Examination Brochure on the Commercial General Building Contractors Examination in FY 2012/2013. • The committee finalized the new test specifications that have been developed based on the new job occupational analysis that was completed on June 28, 2012. • The new job occupational analysis will be used by the approved accredited examination providers starting on April 1, 2013.
NASCLA Accredited Examination Submarketing Committee; Greg Crow, Chair • The NASCLA Submarketing Committee will be working on a new strategic plan for the accredited examination program. The committee will be reviewing the states that have a trade examination in place and have the commercial general contractor classification. The committee met by conference call in November 2012. They developed a marketing plan and reviewed the states that had the trade examination classification. They will be developing a marketing PowerPoint presentation with voice over for marketing purposes.
NASCLA Education Committee; John Curl, Chair • The NASCLA Education Program Module for State Agencies on Prelicensure, Continuing Education and Remedial Education. Next steps, is to continue working with CETArchive in finalizing the education program and database. • Alabama Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Board should be launched by March 1, 2013 as the first state to test the education program. Launch other states in 2013. • Review Standards, FAQ’s and Develop a Marketing Plan for NASCLA State Members.
NASCLA Committee Reports Continued...
NASCLA Membership Committee; George Whalen, Chair • NASCLA has received 28 new members for FY 2011/2012. • NASCLA 50th Year New Membership Marketing Campaign, New State Members $50.00 for 2012/2013 Membership Dues, Start Date June 1, 2012 – August 31, 2012, Plan Completed. • NASCLA Membership Plan Promotion for State Members/Local Jurisdictions, new first time state members will have a complimentary membership for the first year only. • NASCLA Membership discount to new first time business, contractor, associate and affiliate members; they will receive a 50% membership discount off the regular membership dues rate. Effective September 1, 2013. • George Whalen, Committee Chair, & Angie Whitaker, NASCLA Executive Director, to send a membership promotional letter to targeted non-member states, completed. • NASCLA Staff to create Membership Promotional Flyer & E-Blast, completed. • NASCLA Membership Committee Conference Call was held on January 11, 2013 to review the membership promotion, recruitment of non-state and state members outreach. • The committee will look into applying special publication discounts for NASCLA Members.
NASCLA Model Legislation & Special Projects Committee; Jamie Durham, Chair • NASCLA Model Legislation & Special Projects Committee Physical Committee Meeting at the NASCLA 2013 Mid Year Meeting on March 13th and 14th. • NASCLA Specialty Investigative Training Program: 1. Create Task Force to Develop Modules and Core Content 2. Investigator Training Model presented at the NASCLA 2013 Annual Conference 3. Investigator Training Program launched at the NASCLA 2014 Annual Conference • Laws for the NASCLA Resources Committee Toolkit for Contractor Regulators on Elderly Abuse Prevention and Natural Disasters.
NASCLA Nomination Committee; Craig Smith, Chair • The committee nominations for the NASCLA Officers, Board of Directors and NASCLA Educational Resources and Publications Officers and Board of Directors. 6
NASCLA Committee Reports Continued...
NASCLA Program Committee; George Whalen, Chair • The NASCLA 2013 Mid Year Meeting will be in held in Alexandria, Virginia on March 13-15. 1. Approved the new meeting format for the NASCLA 2013 Mid Year Meeting. 2. Marketing materials sent to NASCLA State Members. 3. Special invitation letters sent to both NASCLA State Members and Non-State Members that are close to the Alexandria, Virginia area. 4. Special invitation letters sent to Trade Association in the Washington D.C. area. They will be attending on March 14th. • The NASCLA 2013 Annual Conference will be held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on August 26 – August 29, 2013. 1. The committee has started formulating the program agenda and speaker list via conference call in November 2012 another conference call will be held in February 2013. 2. The committee already identified some potential speakers for the annual conference and staff has been in touch with the appropriate speakers to confirm their availability.
NASCLA Publications Committee; George Whalen, Chair • NASCLA Consumer Guide for Home Improvement Projects Publication, Completed. 1. Target Insurance Companies and Trade Associations 2. Publishing Licensing Agreement • NASCLA Online Training Program on the NASCLA Contractors Guide to Business Law and Project Management, Basic Edition. • NASCLA Publications Brochure Update. • NERP Website Navigation Updates. • Expand NASCLA Code Publications. • HVAC Publication.
NASCLA Committee Reports Continued...
NASCLA Residential Committee; Janet Baumberger, Chair • NASCLA Contractors Disciplinary Database, Market to NASCLA State Members so states can import their contractor revocations and disciplinary actions to the database. The association’s Contractor Disciplinary Database now contains the names of over 21,000 individuals who were listed as principals on revoked contractor licenses. The database can be accessed at https://ned.nascla.org on the internet. The Contractor Disciplinary Database is a very effective and useful tool. Many of the NASCLA State Members use the Contractor Disciplinary Database on a daily basis to pre-screen contractor applicants. The Contractor Disciplinary Database can be accessed on the NASCLA Members Only portion of the website located at https://ned.nascla.org. States can search multiple fields: first/last name, company name or do a general search by state. If an applicant’s name appears in the Contractor Disciplinary Database the state board should contact the state that the applicant’s license was revoked in and verify that the information is valid. 1. The committee to review allowing the database service to be available to all NASCLA Contractor Members; to be included in their membership benefits. These members would not be able to see private information or import data, but could obtain information on contractors for their own use. This topic will be discussed in further detail at the NASCLA 2013 Mid Year Meeting.
NASCLA Resources Committee; Margi Grein, Chair • Licensing and Enforcement, next area of focus for the committee • The committee will create a spreadsheet with issues from the boards and incorporate into a resources module. The module will include the following: 1. Licensing 2. Partnering 3. Investigators 4. Administrative 5. Recovery Funds 6. Government Affairs – Lobbyists • Government Affairs/Legislator Partnering Plan for NASCLA State Members • NASCLA Staff to prepare a survey for NASCLA State Members to see who is using the NASCLA Toolkit for Contractor Regulators.
NASCLA State Member News
Pending Legislation from the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission TO AMEND SECTION 40-59-30, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO LICENSE REQUIREMENTS FOR A RESIDENTIAL HOME BUILDER, SO AS TO PROVIDE A PERSON SEEKING A RESIDENTIAL HOME BUILDER LICENSE MUST SUBMIT TO CERTAIN CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION SHALL NOT ISSUE A RESIDENTIAL HOMEBUILDER LICENSE TO A PERSON WHO HAS NOT SUBMITTED TO THESE BACKGROUND CHECKS. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina: SECTION 1. Section 40-59-30 of the 1976 Code is amended to read: “Section 40-59-30. (A) A person or firm who engages or offers to engage in the business of residential building or residential specialty contracting without first having registered with the commission or procured a license from the commission, which has not expired or been revoked, suspended, or restricted or who knowingly presents to, or files with, the commission false information for the purpose of obtaining a license or registering with the commission is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than ten thousand dollars or, imprisoned for not less than thirty days, or both. (B) In addition to the other requirements of this title: (1) a person seeking a license must undergo a fingerprint-based background check conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to determine if the person has a criminal history in this State and a fingerprint-based background check conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine if the person has other criminal history; and (2) the department may issue no license: (a) to a person who fails to comply with item (1); and (b) until the department reviews the results of the background checks required in item (1). (BC) Notwithstanding Section 29-5-10, or another provision of law, a person or firm who first has not procured a license or registered with the commission and is required to do so by law may not file a mechanics’ lien or bring an action at law or in equity to enforce the provisions of a contract for residential building or residential specialty contracting which the person or firm entered into in violation of this chapter. (CD) Pursuant to Article 5, Chapter 23, Title 1, the commission may petition an administrative law judge to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining a violation of this chapter, pending a full hearing to determine whether the injunction must be made permanent.” SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
NASCLA State Member News Proposed Changes Happening to the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board
David Wilcox, Executive Director
On behalf of the Board and all the staff at the Alabama Plumber and Gas Fitters Examining Board I would like to welcome each of you to 2013. This year promises new challenges and opportunities to implement positive change that we believe will be far-reaching and beneficial not only to the people of Alabama but also to the industries we serve. Our mission and priorities are changing. We now execute a more comprehensive approach to consumer complaints and have had excellent results. We are evolving from an agency whose primary focus in the past was to test, issue and maintain certifications, into a fully operational regulatory agency. We now aggressively pursue illegal activity; we have been able to shut down over 30 illegal operations since August 1, 2012. Our agency had the opportunity to assist the Better Business Bureau and a North Alabama television station with an investigation and “sting” on an illegal contractor resulting in warrants on five cases. We plan to introduce legislation this spring that will facilitate long overdue change in the way our business is conducted; changes that have hindered the fundamental purpose of the Board for years. A summary of major proposed changes include: • A clarification of “backflow” and the Board’s decision on who can install or maintain backflow prevention devices. • Clarification of the term “principal master” and responsibilities of this person/position. • Performance bond amounts will change from $2,000 to $15,000 and will be a state-wide bond. This is a benefit to both the general public and the industry. • Advertising and bidding will be added as violations for a person not possessing proper, current certification; this penalty is changed from a class B to class A misdemeanor. The Board will also be given the authority to issue cease and desist orders for illegal activity to any person, firm, or corporation. • The company name will be required on all vehicles engaged in the installation or service of plumbing and gas fitting. • The disciplinary process will be clarified and the Board given the authority to require a licensee to attend education courses directly related to violations observed and to impose administrative fines and penalties. • There will be clarification concerning the maintenance of property by the property owner. Private property can be maintained by the owner or an individual who is employed by the owner.
NASCLA State Member News
Proposed Changes Happening to the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board Continued...
• Any individual who passes an examination will be required to remit the annual fee and activate the certification within ninety (90) calendar days otherwise he/she will be required to retest. • An annual fee will be required for inactive status. Code Officials will be exempt.
In conjunction to these proposed changes our operational rules and regulations will also require updating. This year our agency will begin utilizing computer based testing for certification which will permit an increase in the number and availability of test sites which certainly benefits both potential plumbers and gas fitters. As you can see, there are high, but reachable goals set for the year. We look forward to meeting these challenges in order to further recognize our goal of quality work performed by certified individuals. We remain committed to the health and welfare of the people of Alabama as well as helping to ensure an environment exists which facilitates continued growth and prosperity within the industries. Sincerely, David Wilcox, Executive Director Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examinig Board
California Regulatory Agencies Partner with Contractors State License Board to Clean Up Construction Industry The California Contractors 12 State License Board (CSLB) historically has enhanced its proactive and reactive enforcement efforts by partnering with other state and local agencies to target contractors—both licensed and unlicensed—who work in the underground economy. What better way to succeed in this mission than to establish a state law that enables agencies to cross-reference their enforcement information and avoid duplication of effort? That’s exactly what happened with the Joint Enforcement Strike Force (JESF), established through state law in 1995 under California Unemployment Insurance Code section 329. This coalition of state agencies is one way that CSLB works with other state departments to combat the underground economy and create a level playing field for California businesses. JESF members include the Employment Development 11
NASCLA State Member News
California Regulatory Agencies Partner with Contractors State License Board to Clean Up Construction Industry Continued...
Department (EDD), the Department of Insurance, the Franchise Tax Board, the Board of Equalization, and the Department of Justice. Its goals include:
• Protecting consumers by ensuring that all businesses are properly licensed and adhere to California’s consumer protection regulations; • Eliminating unfair business competition; • Protecting workers by ensuring that they receive all benefits to which they are entitled by law relating to wages and hours, health and safety, and income replacement; • Reducing the burden on law-abiding citizens and businesses by ensuring that all businesses and individuals comply with the state’s licensing, regulatory, and payroll tax laws; and • Reducing the tax gap by increasing voluntary compliance of the state’s payroll tax laws to maximize its general and special fund revenues. In January 2012, CSLB and EDD further enhanced enforcement efforts by establishing the Construction Enhancement Project (CEP), which focuses on increasing the number of joint investigations, and targets contractors that intentionally evade licensing, payroll taxes, and workers’ compensation insurance requirements. Through CEP, CSLB investigators and EDD agents joined district attorney investigators and building officials in 19 counties with the following 2012 goals: • • • • •
Issue Stop Orders to uninsured employers Reduce owner-builder permits Increase joint enforcement presence with participating counties Target contractors that intentionally evade payroll taxes Increase criminal filings for insurance and license violations
As of November 30, 2012, its first year, CEP already is considered a great success with: • 54 CSLB undercover sting operations resulting in the criminal prosecution of 453 unlicensed and or uninsured contractors • 439 inspections of active job sites resulting in issuance of 336 Stop Orders for uninsured workers and 822 administrative actions for license and unlicensed violations EDD enforcement actions included: • • • •
1,445 tax audit inspections resulting in 516 tax audits $61 million in estimated unreported wages $24 million in CSLB license suspensions for outstanding tax liability $9.5 million in tax penalties recovered
In 2013, CSLB plans to develop new strategies to effectively address the underground economy with its partner agencies in its ongoing consumer protection mission and to help level the playing field for law-abiding contractors. 12
NASCLA State Member News Katherine Martinez has replaced Richard Tavelli as Executive Director of the New Mexico Construction Industries Division.
Stephanie Lee has replaced John Sullivan as Executive Director of the Mississippi State Board of Contractors.
Starting February 1, 2013 the U.S. Virgin Islands will begin using the NASCLA-Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors.
Joseph Tavaglione, President of Tavaglione Construction, was recogtnized when the California Transportation Commission attended a dedication at which the Riverside County Transportation Commission named the Downtown Metro Link Station in honor of Joseph Tavaglione.
Featured NASCLA Resource! NASCLA Contractor Recovery Funds Publication This publication is created to provide NASCLA Members with an overview of the Recovery Funds that are operating in states around the country today. The information in this publication is compiled from extensive research and assistance from NASCLA State Member on statutes, laws and regulations of states with Recovery Funds. The NASCLA Contractor Recovery Funds Publication is currently in the process of being updated for 2013 and will be sent to NASCLA State Members upon completion. 13
NASCLA Calendar of Events Fiscal Year 2012/2013 March 13 - 15, 2013 NASCLA 2013 Mid Year Meeting Alexandria, Virginia The Mid Year Meeting is designed as a planning and project oriented session for NASCLA’s Board of Directors, Committee Members and State Members.
June 27, 2013 NASCLA Executive Committee & NASCLA Board of Directors Conference Call August 26 - 29, 2013 NASCLA 2013 Annual Conference Coeur d’Alene, Idaho NASCLA’s Annual Conference is a great opportunity for NASCLA Members to come together to discuss current issues relevant to the regulation of contractors. The conference also provides a forum for participants to interact and exchange information on current issues in the industry.
April 25, 2013 NASCLA Executive Committee & NERP Board of Directors (Only) Conference Call May 16 - 17, 2013 NASCLA Budget Meeting Jackson Hole, Wyoming NASCLA’s Executive Committee and Fiscal Policy and Procedures Committee will meet to review the interim financials and prepare the NASCLA and NERP forecasted budgets for fiscal year 2013/2014.
The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) was founded in 1962 as a nonprofit corporation. Its membership is comprised of states that have enacted laws regulating the business of contracting. NASCLA is dedicated to the mutual assistance of its member states in striving for the better regulation of the construction industry to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public. National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies 23309 North 17th Drive Building 1, Unit 110 Phoenix, Arizona 85027 Phone: 623.587.9354 Fax: 623.587.9625 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nascla.org