As we gather for the Thanksgiving holiday many families take time to look back at the year past and ahead to the New Year coming. For our Capitol Connection‘family’ of readers it has been a busy year for the Legislature in creating new laws, promoting new bills and adding to the complex nature of doing business as a contractor.
In 2013 we got new rules on Indemnity, Retention, Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, Employees, Public Works, Environment and, of course, new Licensing regulation.
Starting this year construction businesses responsible for losses on commercial projects can’t ‘indemnify’ or share the blame for problems they caused with any other parties who may be connected to the job. (SB 474, Evans)
The politicos did extend the Zero Retention policy at CalTrans thru 2020. The law prohibits CalTrans from withholding retention proceeds in any amount when making progress payments for work by contractors. (AB1671, Huffman)
SB 863 (DeLeon) on Worker’s Comp reform, all 120 pages, was enacted in this year. The changes are extensive and we don’t have space, but you should take a look if you have employees.
Additional Worker’s Compensation changes affecting “C-39” (Roofing) contractors require filing Worker’s Comp coverage with CSLB, even if the contractor has no employees. (AB2219)
Other new rules affect employee information and how it can be used, primarily as an enforcement tool. (AB 1794 Williams & SB 691 Lieu)
Another enforcement measure keeps the investigatory jurisdiction for CSLB in cases where a license has been revoked, cancelled, expired, forfeited or surrendered. (AB 2254 Berryhill)
Construction managers now must be licensed for Home Improvement Contracts (HIC). A person who provides a bid, who arranges for or sets up work and maintains oversight, with HIC needs a license. This one carries substantial criminal penalties for violations. (AB2237 Monning)
With thousands of bills passed one, SB 341 Lowenthal, sounds the alarm for contractor worksites. The law also applies to mines, but any vehicle over 14,000lbs must now have an audible backup alarm if it operates or delivers materials, to or from, a worksite. And, you better be able to hear it at least 200 feet away. Other rules on projects (AB1598/AB 1565/, special districts and schools also are a ‘must read’ in 2013.
Looking ahead thousands more bills will be created in the Assembly and Senate, but these few are dead, dying or may become law in 2014.
Among the dead is an effort by both parties (AB2027 Valadao & AB 249 Berryhill) to reduce the penalties for legitimate contractors who are suspended for a short time.
A pilot program was scrubbed by veto as AB 2309 (Hill) a public/private pilot program for community colleges was set aside.
SB 975 Wright, intended to prohibit local government and special districts from imposing additional licensing requirements was stopped by veto.
AB 2353 Knight intended to bolster subcontractor’s status; requiring a notice be sent before a substitute ‘sub’ was brought in was considered dead on arrival.
While these, and hundreds more, new bills are set aside, vetoed or considered dead, don’t kid yourself some will be back, some revived and others created in regulating the work contractors perform by law in California.