NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE CONTRACTORS LICENSING AGENCIES
Newsletter Inside This Issue: NASCLA President’s Message ....................... 1 NASCLA Annual Conference ............ 2 - 5 • At-A-Glance Agenda • Registration • Sponsorship • National Awards • Hotel Details NASCLA Committee Meetings Update ........ 6 NASCLA News ..... 7 - 8 Maryland Home Improvment Commission Gets Bill Signed .......................... 9 Louisiana State Licensing Board - State Bulletins .................... 10 Illegal Operator Cited Twice in Two Days During First Ever California-Nevada Border Blitz ............... 11 Close of Nevada’s Legislative Session Marks Beginning of Changes for State Contractors Board ... 12 The Mississippi State Board of Contractors Initiate Sweeping Reform to Construction Laws in 2010 ............. 13 Good Government Service Is Not An Oxymoron ................ 14
Volume 7, Issue 3 July 2011 It is amazing sometimes to realize how time flies! As we come to the close of my Presidency of NASCLA, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the excellent group of people that serve this organization and that I’ve had the pleasure of working with during my tenure. We have experienced a tremendous change in our staff this year but we have an extremely talented staff with great things to look forward to in our future. Our Executive Director surprised us this year by expanding her family with a new baby boy, Reid Cash Whitaker, born on June 19, 2011. Congratulations to Kevin and Angie on the expansion of their family. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful and well-rounded staff that is completely dedicated to our organization. We have two new employees, Kirsten and Fernando and they have hit the ground running and represent us well! Angie and Gwen continue their dedication and great jobs for NASCLA and Gwen is filling in during this time while Angie is on maternity leave. NASCLA has been busy this year with finalizing the Strategic Plan for the association with the help of Michael Barrett. It is very exciting to see that you have fulfilled all your accomplishments and then to create a new plan to begin working towards new goals and ideas. NASCLA also has a new updated website that allows our great staff to make changes themselves instead of relying on an outside source. This allows for immediate updates or release of information which better assists our members. NASCLA has also launched the Disciplinary Database and there are many states that have utilized this new tool to assist all of us during the licensure process. We are also making great progress with the move to merge NPI and NASCLA into one non-profit association which will have many benefits. This merge will eliminate ethical issues for some Board Members as well as create less of a tax liability. This was a perk that we were made aware of after we started this process so everyone benefits. We have a great conference planned this year that will be here before we know it. Our annual meeting will be in Savannah, Georgia, August 23 through August 26, 2011. We will be at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort which is located across the river with a great view of downtown Savannah. We are also sponsoring a conference at the beginning of the week for the National Construction Investigators Association (NCIA) that is also being held in Savannah. We are very excited about this meeting and hopefully will be able to assist and support this organization more in the future. The information for this conference has been forwarded to you but if you need additional information, please contact the NASCLA Office. These are going to be two great conferences and I look forward to seeing you there! As my Presidency comes to an end, I would like to thank the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Members and staff for such a great working relationship! I have thoroughly enjoyed leading this organization during 2011 and working with each of you to create goals and experience accomplishments together in unity. I am very honored to have been President of NASCLA and have strived to continue NASCLA’s responsibility of providing great service to Construction Regulatory Agencies across the United States. I look forward to continuing to work with the excellent Executive Committee and also look forward to working with Craig Smith as the incoming President. I hope everyone had a Safe and Happy 4th and I look forward to seeing everyone in Savannah! May God continue to bless you and your families! Keith E. Warren NASCLA President
NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference The NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference marks the celebration of 49 Years of Excellence in Regulation! NASCLA welcomes you to celebrate with us in Savannah, Georgia on August 23 - 26, 2011 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Hotel. Joined by colleagues from all jurisdictions, attendees will find the combination of interactive, participant-driven committee meetings and targeted conference sessions an intensely rewarding experience! NASCLA’s Program Committee and Staff have arranged multiple top notch sessions which are applicable to state members, board members, contractors and staff who are involved in the regulation of the construction industry. Share in the wealth of knowledge and experience all that NASCLA has to offer by joining us at this year’s annual conference!
At-A-Glance Agenda The At-A-Glance Agenda is Tentative and Subject to Change
Tuesday, August 23rd
Wednesday, August 24th
8:00 am - 8:45 am: NASCLA Model Legislation Committee Meeting
8:30 am - 8:45 am: Welcome and Introduction Presented by: Keith Warren, NASCLA President
8:45 am - 9:30 am: NASCLA Education Committee Meeting
8:45 am - 9:45 am: General Session 1: TBA
9:30 am - 10:30 am: NASCLA Publications Committee Meeting
9:45 am - 10:45 am: A Brief 3,000 Year History of Surety Bonds: What They Are, How They Work, Why They Are Important Presented By: Bill Peterson, Vice President/Public Affairs Officer, CNA Surety
10:30 am - 11:00 am: NASCLA Membership Committee Meeting 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: NASCLA Resources Committee Meeting 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: NASCLA Fiscal Policies and Procedures Committee Meeting 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: NASCLA Executive Committee Meeting 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: NASCLA Publications Board of Directors Meeting 3:00 pm - 4:45 pm: NASCLA Board of Directors Meeting 4:45 pm - 5:15 pm: NASCLA Nominations Committee Meeting 5:15 pm - 6:15 pm: NASCLA Opening Reception
11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Green Building Codes and The Risks Facing Contractors Presented By: Bill Dexter, Construction Systems Analyst, AEC Risk Management 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Contractor Discipline, The Nevada Way Presented By: Louis Ling, Board Counsel, Nevada Contractors Board 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: NASCLA National Accredited Examination Program Presented By: Heidi Lincer-Hill, Ph.D., Manager, Examination Development Unit, California Contractors State License Board & Kara Schmitt, PhD. KNK Consultanting 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm: NASCLA Accredited Examination Program & Submarketing Committee Meeting 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm: NASCLA Program Committee Meeting 5:00 pm - 6:00pm: NASCLA Residential Committee Meeting
NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference At-A-Glance Agenda The At-A-Glance Agenda is Tentative and Subject to Change
Friday, August 26th
Thursday, August 25th 8:30 am - 9:30 am: Top Construction Regulatory Cases Presented By: Louis Ling, Board Counsel, Nevada Constractors Board
8:00 am - 10:00 am: Roundtable Session: TBA 10:00 am - 11:00 am: What is Low Voltage Contracting and How to Institute an Effective State Licensing Program? Presented By: Steve Dale, Executive Director, National Low Voltage Contractors Association, Inc.
9:30 am - 10:30 am: Construction Outlook: A Time of Change â€“ For Better and Worse Presented By: Ken Simonson,Cheif Economist, The Associated 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Opening Up Your PR Toolbox General Contractors of America Presented By: Rick Lopes, Cheif, Public Affairs Office, California Contractors State License Board 10:30 am - 11:30 am: National Disciplinary Database Management: An Interactive Trip Around the Newest Online Software from NASCLA Presented By: Calvin Fabre, ENVOC
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Banquet and Installation of Officers Luncheon
11:30 am - 12:30 pm: NASCLA Report of States Presented By: NASCLA State Members 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm: NASCLA Annual Board of Directors Luncheon 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm: 90 Minute History Tour of Savannah 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Reception and Dinner at The Club Pavilion
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Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits Continuing Legal Education Credits will be offered to participants of the 2011 Annual Conference. Earn valuable CLE Credits while experiencing everything NASCLA has to offer! For more information, please contact Kirsten Zacharias at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The NASCLA Annual Conference is the place where the industry comes together! The 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 licensing issues. Where else can you take advantage of networking with industry professionals, receive the latest on industry breaking news and trends and meet over 30 Executive Directors from state contractor licensing agencies all in one location? When you add top level educational content and sponsor exhibits, the opportunity to accomplish this much in one place only comes along once a year! You can now register and pay registration fees online at www.nascla.org/2011AnnualConferenceRegistration.
NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference Thank You 2011 Sponsors! Platinum Sponsors
Become a Sponsor for the NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference!
As a NASCLA Annual Conference Sponsor, You Have The Opportunity To Put Your Company’s Products And Services In The Front Of The People That Use Them Most! Make the most of your marketing money! The NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference will help reach an influential audience of leaders in the construction industry:
• Executive Directors from Contracter State Licensing Agencies • Representatives from Construction Firms • Contractor Trade Associations • Others who are affiliated with the Construction Industry
Become a NASCLA Sponsor Today! For more information, please visit the NASCLA website at www.nascla.org/2011-conference-sponsorship, or contact, Kirsten Zacharias, NASCLA Program Coordinator, by phone at (623) 587-9354 or via email at email@example.com.
NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference Gain Recognition for Excellence in the Construction Industry! NASCLA will be presenting the 2011 Community Service in Contracting and Innovation in Regulation Awards at this year’s Annual Conference on Friday, August 26, in Savannah, Georgia. These prestigious awards honor those that accomplish valuable charitable projects within their communities, and excellence in regulation of the construction industry.
Community Service in Contracting Award This award recognizes the positive impact that contractors and construction related associations have on their communities. NASCLA wants to honor those who have unselfishly contributed their time, labor and materials to charities. So many times these people and associations go unnoticed; now is the time for their deserved recognition!
Innovation In Regulation Award This award is presented to a public sector contractor licensing agency, and is designed to recognize a state licensing agency for their innovation, creativity and excellence in the industry. For more information, or to download the NASCLA National Awards Nomination Form, please visit the NASCLA website at www.nascla.org/national-awards, or contact Kirsten Zacharias, NASCLA Program Coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westin Savannah Harbor Resort Reservation Deadline Date is Quickly Approaching! The NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference will be held at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort in Savannah, Georgia. It is a prime location, not far from southern history, fantastic shopping and nightlife, but removed just enough for tranquility. Relax at the riverside oasis in a private cabana with some of the best views of the city, just a 90-second complimentary ferry-ride away. Attendees are responsible for securing their own hotel accomodations. Reservations can be made by contacting the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort directly at the number listed below. Please refer to the NASCLA Annual Conference to ensure your discounted rate of $139 per night.
Hotel Reservation Deadline is Monday, July 25, 2011 Westin Savannah Harbor Resort - One Resort Drive - Savannah, Georgia 31421 - (800) 937-8461 www.westinsavannah.com 5
NASCLA Committee Meeting Updates NASCLA Annual Budget Meeting The NASCLA 2011 Annual Budgeting Meeting was held in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 17th â€“ 19th at the Westin Kierland Hotel. The NASCLA Executive Committee and Fiscal Policies and Procedures Committee Members were in attendance to review the interim financials for both NASCLA and NASCLA Publications, Inc. (NPI). The annual meeting was conducted to analyze financials and prepare the forecasted budgets for FY 2011/2012. The information from this meeting will be presented to the NASCLA Board of Directors for approval at the NASCLA 2011 Annual Conference Board of Directors Meeting on August 23rd in Savannah, Georgia. On May 18th, the committee members had the opportunity to visit the Arizona Registrar of Contractors office and meet with their Executive Team to discuss NASCLA. A special thanks to Director Mundell and his Executive Team for taking the time to meet with us and not only share information about their various departments but also sharing a wealth of information among the other regulatory boards in attendance. It was a great networking session. NASCLA Executive & Fiscal Policies Committee at the AZROC Office.
The NASCLA Executive Committee Members reviewed the Strategic Plans for both NASCLA and NPI on May 19th and discussed and worked on various committee projects to prepare for the NASCLA 2011 Annual Board of Directors Meeting.
NASCLA Executive & Fiscal Policies Committee meeting with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
Overall, the meeting was very successful and productive thanks for the committee membersâ€™ dedication to the association.
Left to Right: John Curl, Steve Pinther, George Whalen, John Sullivan, Craig Smith, Greg Crow, Keith Warren, Kathy LeCroix.
Left to Right: John Curl, Steve Pinther, George Whalen, John Sullivan, Greg Crow, Keith Warren, Kathy LeCroix.
NASCLA News! Angelina Whitaker Earns Certified Association Executive Credential Washington, DC, June 16, 2011 – ASAE has announced that Angelina Whitaker, Executive Director of the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE™) credential. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry. Less than five percent of all association professionals have earned the CAE. To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have a minimum of three years experience in nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management, and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. To maintain the certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional development and activities in association and nonprofit management. 3,900 association professionals currently hold the CAE credential. The CAE program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit www.asaecenter.org.
Nathan Powell, Executive Director, Oklahoma Construction Industries Board, Announces Retirement To: The Board, Staff and Members of The National Association of State Contractor Licensing Agencies After 30 years of service to the State of Oklahoma I will be retiring October 1, 2011. I cannot depart without expressing how important NASCLA has been to me in my role as Administrator of the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board (CIB). I took over the CIB in August of 2008 and 4 weeks later attended my first NASCLA meeting in Point Clear, Alabama. I knew right away that NASCLA would provide me with a wealth of resources. I can’t count the number of times in this brief 3 years that I’ve e-mailed or called members for help or information. I’ve used staff research and committee products for presentations or negotiations on legislation. I’ll miss the great meetings, the professional staff, the dedicated members of the board and the comradeship of the members. Thank you NASCLA. Nathan Powell Administrator, Oklahoma Construction Industries Board 7
NASCLA News! South Carolina Residential Builders Commission Has A New Adminstrator NASCLA would like to welcome Janet Baumberger as the new Administrator for the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission. Ms. Baumberger is replacing Stan Bowen who retired last year. South Carolina Residential Builders Commission P.O. Box 11329 ~ Columbia, SC 29211 ~ (803) 896-4621 ~ www.llr.state.sc.us/pol/residentiailbuilders
Professional Examination Services (PES), Announces Retirement New York, N.Y. – Professional Examination Service (PES) announced on Monday, May 24, 2011 that Dr. I. Leon Smith will retire at the end of 2011. Dr. Smith joined PES in 1979 and has served PES in a variety of positions; the last 13 years as PES’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “During my years at PES, we have seen a tremendous growth and increasing recognition of credentialing as an inherent part of professional life. I believe that licensure and certification are critically important to the public and to professions and organizations. These activities serve to benefit the public good” said Dr. Smith. During Dr. Smith’s tenure at PES, the company has expanded its client base and increased and refined the services offered to its clients through the use of new technology and improved client management initiatives. PES has hired the executive search firm of Amrop Battalia Winston to lead the search for Dr. Smith’s successor. He will remain with PES throughout the transition. Dr. Smith has been integral to the success of PES. We thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the company and wish him the best in his retirement.
Avoiding The Con in Construction Kia Ricci, “The Contractress,” author of Avoiding the Con in Construction, recently informed NASCLA that she is a finalist in the prestigious Ben Franklin Book Award. Ms. Ricci received the Bill Fisher Best First Book Award for her publication on the importance of hiring a licensed contractor. Read all about it
Kia’s book, Avoiding the Con in Construction, is written for homeowners in a language they can understand. It is for the people who want an inside look at construction contracting so that they can make wise decisions when hiring and working with contractors. This is what makes the book unique. It is a book about “how to contract,” not “how to construct,” and it is for the general reader, not the general contractor. This book retails for $19.95 and can be purchased in bookstores, at Amazon, and at www.thecontractress.com 8
NASCLA State Member News! Maryland Home Improvement Commission Gets Bill Signed The 2011 General Assembly passed the Maryland Home Improvement Commission’s Sunset Extension and Program Evaluation bill, extending the life of the MHIC for another 10 years. The bill also grants the MHIC authority to issue civil citations against both licensed and unlicensed individuals who violate the Home Improvement Law and increases the potential incarceration for a first-time offense of operating as a contractor without a license from 30 days to 6 months, in addition to a $1,000 fine. Fines collected from the civil citations will pay for expert witnesses who will be hired by the Commission to evaluate the workshop of home improvement projects. Revenue will be split evenly between the State’s general fund and a new fund created to fund expert witnesses. In recent years, the Commission has had no funding for experts, who are often needed to support regulatory charges of poor workmanship and to properly evaluate a homeowner’s actual loss for the Guaranty Fund claim. The civil citation authority means that the Commission will be able to take regulatory action by issuing a fine up to $5,000 per violation without incurring the time and expense of holding an administrative hearing. Rather than paying a fine, an individual will have the right to request a hearing to contest the citation. With this new authority, the Commission hopes to use the citations to (1) improve the industry standards among licensed contractors by addressing minor violations (such as not having vehicles properly marked, using contracts that do not comply with the form and content requirements of the statute, and advertising violations) and (2) decrease the incidence of unlicensed individuals operating as home improvement contractors in the State. The Commission expects to fine individuals for a first violation of acting as a contractor without a license and only refer for prosecution repeat offenders, fraud cases, and crimes against elderly and vulnerable adults. The new law goes into effect October 1, 2011. The Commission is currently working to promulgate regulations regarding the enforcement and procedures for the civil citations.
We Want To Hear From You Submit your article today to be included in the next NASCLA Newsletter. Submitting an article puts your name and agency/company in front of your peers, establishes you as a resource, and enables you to exchange best practices and new innovations with your colleagues. All articles must be submitted electronically in MS Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format. Please include pictures (if applicable) and author contact information. Submit To: Angie Whitaker | email@example.com or Kirsten Zacharias | firstname.lastname@example.org Please Note: We will not accept articles that are intended for advertising.
NASCLA State Member News! Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors Requests for Proposals
April 15, 2011
The professionals of the construction industry in Louisiana, architects, contractors, engineers, project owners, and awarding authorities, must remember that “quotes” or “proposals” are subject to the Louisiana Contractor Licensing Laws. According to the definition of a contractor as found in LA RS 37:2150.1(4) (a) a contractor means any person who undertakes to, attempts to or “SUBMITS A PRICE OR BID OR OFFERS TO CONSTRUCT”. Given that by definition, the law makes no distinction between performing work or merely proposing to perform work, it is the LSLBC Compliance Division policy that we treat both as equal. To submit a proposal for work that requires one to be licensed to actually perform the work, one must also be licensed to submit the proposal. Submitting an “RFP” without possessing a license is a violation of our law and the contractor will be cited for 37:2160 A (1). The Licensing Board has been consistent in the handling of any such matters, while they may take in to account the fact that the contractor received no payments when deciding what penalty to impose, the Board has found the violators guilty without distinction. The only exception to this would be if the RFP is submitted out of state, in that case we would not have jurisdiction, but regardless of who is requesting the RFP, contractors must be licensed to legally submit a response to an RFP.
Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors May I Borrow Your License? May 16, 2011 Absolutely not! Consumers and project owners may often receive prices, quotes, or promises that sound too good to be true. Unlicensed activities take place all the time whereby unqualified and unlicensed contractors ask a licensed friend or relative to pull a permit for them so that they can do the work. A licensed contractor pulling a permit and allowing an unlicensed contractor to do the work is a severe violation of the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. A licensed contractor found guilty of this violation may face a financial penalty as well as the possibility of license revocation. The unlicensed contractor can face penalties as severe 10% of the value of the project. LSLBC conducts Administrative Hearings every month for allegations and complaints for fraudulent and unlicensed activities. Permit and inspection offices are the first line of defense of our laws. The licensed contractors must handle the license responsibly for the right to maintain it. LSLBC promotes professionalism in the construction industry and service for the citizens of Louisiana. For any questions or further information, please refer to the website at www.lslbc.louisiana.gov or contact our Public Information Officer at 225-765-2301 Ext. 213 or via email at email@example.com. 10
NASCLA State Member News! Illegal Operator Cited Twice in Two Days During First Ever California-Nevada Border Blitz SACRAMENTO – The first ever joint enforcement effort by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) on May 19 and 20, 2011, should put illegal operators on notice that unlicensed activity on either side of the state line will not be tolerated. The operation included stings on the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe, and sweeps through jobsites in Placer and El Dorado counties. Tomas Prochazka, 34, of Truckee, did not seem to get the message. After receiving a notice to appear in Nevada County Court at CSLB’s May 19 sting in Truckee, he received a citation to appear in Washoe County Court at a May 20 sting put on by NSCB in Incline Village. Prochazka will answer to charges of contracting without a license and illegal advertising in both states. During both stings, investigators from their respective boards posed as homeowners, seeking bids for various home improvement jobs. If suspects were not appropriately licensed, they received the notices to appear (NTAs) in court. A total of 13 received NTAs at the Truckee sting; six received NTAs at the Incline Village operation. Also on May 20, CSLB investigators conducted sweeps at several jobsites in Placer and El Dorado counties in California, as NSCB investigators observed. In South Lake Tahoe, CSLB issued two stop work orders to unlicensed operators and another to a licensee for failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance. A new law that took effect January 1, 2011 enables CSLB investigators to immediately issue a Stop Order to a licensed or unlicensed contractor who cannot show a current workers’ compensation insurance policy for all employees on the job. Three others in South Lake Tahoe received administrative citations for contracting without a license. During the Placer County sweep, one person was cited for contracting on an expired license. Additional citations for contracting on an expired license and failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance are pending. “Investigators for our boards did a tremendous job in letting illegal operators know that they are being targeted on both sides of the state line,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “California and Nevada contractor boards are committed to protecting consumers, and ensuring a level playing field for legitimate licensees.” Law enforcement backup for the sting and sweep operations were provided by the Nevada County District Attorney and Sheriff, Amador County District Attorney, Truckee Police Department, California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Department of Investigations. The California Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the Department of Consumer Affairs. More information and publications about hiring contractors are available on the CSLB website or by calling 800-321-CSLB (2752). You can also sign up for CSLB e-mail alerts at www.cslb.ca.gov. CSLB licenses and regulates California’s more than 300,000 contractors, and is regarded as one of the leading consumer protection agencies in the United States. In fiscal year 2009-10, CSLB helped recover nearly $42 million in ordered restitution for consumers. The Nevada State Contractors Board is committed to protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare through licensing and regulation of the construction industry. Under Nevada Revised Statutes, a licensee is subject to disciplinary action by the Board for failure to comply with the requirements of the laws or regulations governing contractors. Violations may result in Board action against the contractor’s license. The State Contractors Board has the power to regulate contractors and discipline licensees who violate NRS 624. Disciplinary action may consist of a fine of up to $10,000 per offense, order corrective action, suspension, revocation or other action.
NASCLA State Member News! Close of Nevada’s Legislative Session Marks Beginning of Changes for State Contractors Board Nevada’s 2011 Legislative Session was not short on industry-related bills and ideas. While most did not make it to the Governor for signing, several pieces of legislation did. Of those bills that became statute, three were sponsored by NSCB and six others had a direct impact on the administrative functions of the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB): NSCB-sponsored bills signed by the Governor: AB 32 (Commerce and Labor) – Requires a licensed contractor to submit a request to the Board to increase the monetary limit on his/her license at least five working days before bidding on any single construction project. The contractor is then required to obtain approval of his/her request before bidding on the single construction project. Effective October 1, 2011. SB 18 (Commerce, Labor, and Energy) – Authorizes the Board to discipline licensed contractors for failure or refusal to comply with an order of the Board. The Board is required to impose an administrative fine of $1,000 against a licensee who fails or refuses to comply with an order of the Board in addition to certain actions, which may be taken by the Board against the licensee. Effective October 1, 2011. SB 19 (Commerce, Labor, and Energy) – Requires an applicant for a contractor’s license or a licensed contractor to notify NSCB in writing within 30 days after the licensee is convicted of, or enters a plea of guilty, guilty but mentally ill or nolo contendere, in Nevada or any other jurisdiction, to: (1) a crime against a child; (2) a sexual offense; (3) murder; (4) voluntary manslaughter; or (5) a felony crime involving moral turpitude if the conviction occurred or the plea was entered in the immediately preceding 15 years. If not adhered to, the Board may assess grounds for disciplinary action or refuse issuing the license. Effective July 1, 2011. Legislation impacting NSCB administrative functions: AB 1 (Kirkpatrick) – Requires licensing boards that regulate an occupation or profession to report fiscal information to the Interim Finance Committee each fiscal quarter beginning July 1, 2011 and extending through May 30, 2012. The fiscal report will
encompass certain money, fees, expenditures, and asset-related information. Effective May 24, 2011. AB 59 (Government Affairs) – Expands the requirements for public notification pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, including adding notifications that agenda items may be taken out of order, combined for consideration, or be removed or delayed at any time. Additionally each agenda item where action will be taken, NSCB must now include, “for possible action.” Effective July 1, 2011. AB 62 (Government Affairs) – Authorizes the Attorney General to charge a regulatory body for any work they conduct relative to trainings, costs associated with providing assistance in the prosecution of category A or B felonies, as well as all services relating to the investigation of a complaint. Effective July 1, 2011. AB 201 (Government Affairs) – Adds a provision to the requirements for submitting informational statements on the adoption of administrative regulations. NSCB will be required to include the name and contact information of any entity or organization who presents testimony at the hearing on the adoption of the regulation, if such information was presented to the agency. Effective May 24, 2011. AB 257 (Ellison and Goicoechea) – Requires that public bodies must allow public comment “at the beginning of the meeting before any items on which action may be taken are heard by the public body and again before the adjournment of the meeting” OR “after each item on the agenda on which action may be taken is discussed by the public body, but before the public body takes action on the item.” Effective July 1, 2011. SB 251 (Kieckhefer, Smith, Brooks, and Hansen) – Establishes a Sunset Subcommittee of the Legislative Commission, which will be responsible for conducting reviews of all boards and commissions, determining whether each entity should be terminated, modified, or consolidated. This statute also requires that the subcommittee hold public hearings to receive commentary on each of the entities under review. Effective July 1, 2011.
NASCLA State Member News! The Mississippi State Board of Contractors Initiate Sweeping Reform to Construction Laws in 2010 Prior to July 1, 2010, The Mississippi State Board of Contractors issued certificates of responsibility (commercial licenses) and residential builder, remodeler, and roofing licenses only on a quarterly basis. New applications and renewals were required to remain on file with the Board for at least thirty (30) days. This process was extremely laborious to staff who process over 300 new applications and renewals over a two day period. It was also daunting to the members of the board who were required by law to adequately review each document prior to approval. The process was revised to grant the Executive Director of the Board the power to issue Certificates of Responsibility and Residential Licenses throughout the course of a calendar year provided the applications were complete. This action reduced the pressure on staff and allowed greater opportunity for the board to more closely evaluate each application. The board has received high marks from the construction industry because of the greater flexibility in the application process. Also, during the 2010 legislative session, the board was able to reduce the threshold requiring licensure from $100,000 to $50,000 for both public and private projects. Another notable change is a stronger disclosure requirement for both commercial and residential contractors. Under the new guidelines all license holders “shall disclose to the owner or other person with whom the license holder is contracting at the signing of a contract or the initial agreement to perform work whether the license holder carries general liability insurance. The disclosure shall be written, the structure and composition of which shall be determined by the State Board of Contractors, and shall be placed immediately before the space reserved in the contract for the signature of the purchaser. The disclosure shall be boldfaced and conspicuous type which is larger than the type of the remaining text of the contract.” Each of these changes became effective July 1, 2010. Rules and Regulation changes The board has been plagued with ‘good intention’ as contractors would initiate an application only to neglect it sometimes for up to 3 years. As a result enormous records were required kept along with the payments. This process was cumbersome at best and therefore a change was made to reduce the expiration date that a new application can remain on file for either a Commercial or Residential license to 180 days. If not completed within this time frame, the file is destroyed and the fee is not refundable. Residential licenses that have been expired for 120 days or more cannot be renewed. Commercial licenses that have been expired for 180 days or more cannot be renewed. These are just a few ways the MSBOC has answered the industry’s call to create a better working environment for construction contractors. For more information regarding these changes as well as other information please visit our website at www.msboc.us.
Good Government Service Is Not An Oxymoron
How many times have you heard jokes made about people dying of old age when waiting in line trying to renew their driver’s licenses? How many times have you wondered just how many government employees does it really take to look down in a hole? How many times have you thought how you could change the public’s opinion of how your office strives for good customer service? Let’s be honest, poor customer service is not just a symptom of government. You can find it anywhere and without even trying. Just the other day I was getting my usual bagel and hot tea when the counter person at my local bakery had trouble entering my order. She was kind and caring but just could not seem to get the order in their computer. I did feel a little sense of her anxiety and asked her how long had she been working there. Her reply was this was her second day. I asked had she been trained and she said not really. Well whose fault is that I thought to myself? Not the counterperson, in my opinion it was managements fault. In government service who is the first person the public interacts with in your office? More than likely it is the phone operator or the receptionist. Who is usually the least trained and or newest employee? Same answer. Same result. Have you ever made a “secret shopper” call to your office? Try it and see how you are treated. Don’t be scared of what you might find and don’t be naïve either. Go ahead and do it, doesn’t cost anything. You may be pleasantly surprised or you may get a needed wake up call. Just remember the captain of the ship is the responsible party. If the experience shows a need for improvement make a plan, set a higher standard for customer service and work towards a better experience for your customers. At the same time it will improve how the public treats your staff. While you’re at it also take a look at your website. How customer friendly is it. How current is the information? How are your FQAs and current events? Will it help cut down on telephone calls to your office or will it cause more questions than answers? In closing let’s stop the world for a moment and look inside our own organizations as our customers look in each day. Do we like what we see and hear or do we see room for positive improvement? Does it really matter what your business is? Good service is good service and the captain is always the captain. Thomas K. Hannah. Former Chief of Investigative Services, State of Florida (Retired).
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