California Contractors State License Board/ CSLB Meeting

Are you holding your breath over the new diesel equipment regulations? Have you been ‘stung’ by unfair competition from an unlicensed individuals calling themselves a contractor? These were among the top agenda items at the latest meeting of the Contractors State License Board…

The CSLB held its full Board meeting in Sacramento on September 10. Among those items discussed or reported on were: The Air Resources Board (ARB) recently adopted regulations; legislation to require public work contractors to become certified by the CSLB; successful sting operations in San Marcos and Pleasanton; the Governor’s recent Executive order; and a new ‘Advertising’ definition.

The ARB adopted comprehensive regulations to reduce diesel particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from existing (and in-use) off-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles in California. As it relates to the construction industry, this may involve loaders, scrapers, backhoes, and other related equipment. ARB estimates this will cost the industry upwards of $3.2 Billion (Some industry observers estimate this could be much more). ARB also estimates average costs of retrofitting existing vehicles will run $8,000 to $15,000 each. However, since technology has apparently not caught up to the regulations, it could be very difficult to comply with. One contractor I spoke with said his small fleet of vehicles would need to be retrofitted at a cost of $100,000 but that the required devices “have not yet been manufactured”.

According to the ARB website, for more information on these regulations you can call the diesel vehicle information hot line at (866) 6-DIESEL (634-3735) or visit

SB 1698 (Romero) was recently passed by the legislature and is heading to the Governor’s desk. This bill would, if signed, prohibit a contractor from performing work as a contractor or subcontractor on a state government public work, unless he or she has obtained a public works certification from the CSLB on and after January 1, 2011. Again, while not a scientific study, several contractors I spoke with are not thrilled with another “layer of bureaucracy”.

As of this writing, the State Budget “record” stalemate is well into its third month – with no end in sight. As it relates to the CSLB, this has resulted in the layoff of dozens of temporary employees and suspension of the Industry Expert Program. The budget stalemate has also resulted in delays to some enforcement investigations including those related to unlicensed activities.

The Board’s SWIFT operation in partnership with the San Diego Sheriff’s Dept. conducted a two-day sting on August 20-21 in San Marcos. They netted 40 unlicensed contractors. On Aug 27-28, they partnered with Dept of Insurance and local PD to target unlicensed activities in Pleasanton. They netted over two-dozen individuals in this sting.

Reflecting the huge growth in Internet advertising, the Board amended its definition of where a contractor must display his license number when advertising to include “any electronic” transmission…under any listing denoting ‘Contractor’ or words of similar meaning.

Spotlight on CSLB Members

Bruce Rust, one of the newest Board members was appointed (as a public member) by then Speaker of the State Assembly, Fabian Nunez. Mr. Rust resides in Clovis and is Business manager of Laborers Local #294 in Fresno. He has worked in the construction industry for many years in both CA and AZ.