Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation 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, and sponsored by the California Contractors State Licensing Board or CSLB, was approved by the Assembly and Senate in late August before getting the governor’s signature this past Wednesday.

“Ensuring contractors work in a safe, competent and professional manner is at the heart of our commitment to Californians,” 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.”

The 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.

“Ensuring contractors work in a safe, competent and professional manner is at the heart of our commitment to Californians.”

State Sen. Bill Dodd

However, completion of these requirements does not always happen in a timely manner, according to Dodd’s office. SB 630 would streamline the probationary process for the state’s contractors, ensuring they meet licensing obligations with fewer delays.

“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, in a statement Wednesday. “Consumer protection will be enhanced by authorizing the CSLB to re-impose discipline without having to file a new disciplinary case.”

The legislation would also help the 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.

“This new law will … strengthen an industry that is essential as we continue to build out our state,” Dodd said.