STATE LAWMAKERS have approved a measure that would boost consumer protection by improving oversight and training of California’s nearly 300,000 licensed contractors.

Senate Bill 630, proposed by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, is a measure sponsored by the California Contractors State Licensing Board, and was approved by the State Assembly on Aug. 17 after previously passing the Senate. It heads next to Gov. Gavin Newsom for a signature.

“At the heart of our commitment to California consumers is ensuring contractors work in a safe, competent and professional manner,” Sen. Dodd said in a statement. “A way to do that is through better communication and education, as well as clear pathways for improvement when things go wrong. [SB 630] advances these principles among the licensed trades to strengthen an industry that is essential as we continue to build out our state.”

The California CSLB regulates 44 types of contractors including builders, plumbers, electricians and painters. To ensure compliance with performance and safety standards, the board can impose remedial training or payment of restitution to consumers. 

According to Sen. Dodd’s office, however, completion of these same requirements does not always happen in a timely manner. SB 630 would streamline this probationary process, ensuring contractors meet licensing obligations with fewer delays.

Additionally, the measure would help CSLB save money currently spent on mailing contractors tens of thousands of educational bulletins and documents by requiring submission of an email address with license applications so that communications can be sent electronically.

“Our agency does not currently have authority to re-impose discipline against a contractor for failure to comply with the terms of probation by completing specified training,” said David Fogt, CSLB registrar of contractors. “Consumer protection will be enhanced by authorizing CSLB to re-impose discipline without having to file a new disciplinary case.”