Politics & Government

Bills aimed at unlicensed contractors supported by Monning, Achadjian

Bill Monning
Bill Monning jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Contractors who work in the underground economy are being targeted through bipartisan bills backed by Central Coast legislators Bill Monning and Katcho Achadjian.

“Law-abiding businesses and the public’s safety are at risk due to the large number of unlicensed contractors supporting California’s underground economy,” said Monning, a Democratic state senator from Carmel who also serves San Luis Obispo County. Achadjian is a Republican Assemblyman from San Luis Obispo.

“I am pleased to be able to partner with Assembly member Achadjian in order to provide enforcement agencies with the tools they need to successfully prosecute flagrant violators of state law,” Monningsaid.

The package of legislation will clarify that the Contractors State License Board has the authority to prosecute contractors who are not complying with current state regulations and laws, he said.

It also will allow the board to issue administrative citations against contractors who misuse or misrepresent license information, whether or not these violations are pursued by the District Attorney.

Another bill in the package will allow a contractor who fails to comply with supervision and control requirements to be administratively prosecuted and charged with a misdemeanor.

The bills also will clarify, for purposes of criminal prosecution, the definition of an “unlicensed contractor.”

Monning said it is not possible to know exactly how much money goes uncollected by the state due to the underground economy. He said some analyses have concluded that the state general fund loses billions of dollars annually.

Underground contractors “have a bidding advantage of between 15 and 20 percent over law-abiding business owners,” he said, “creating an unfair business environment.”

Achadjian said the proposed legislation provides the state “with the tools necessary to identify and penalize illegal unlicensed contractors, without overburdening the hardworking licensed contractors who are already complying with state law.”

Read the Senate bills