Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 501

Public Act No. 02-142

AN ACT CONCERNING CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ELECTRICIANS AND PLUMBERS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Accredited continuing professional education" means any education of an electrician or plumber that is designed to maintain professional competence in the pursuit, practice and standards of electrical work or plumbing and piping work and that is approved by the commissioner and is provided by an organization, institution or agency that is approved by the commissioner;

(2) "Certificate of continuing education" means a document issued to an electrician or plumber by an organization, institution or agency approved by the commissioner that offers accredited continuing professional education, which (A) certifies that an electrician or plumber has satisfactorily completed a specified number of continuing education hours, and (B) bears the name of such organization, institution or agency, the title of the program, the dates during which the program was conducted, the number of continuing education hours satisfactorily completed and the signature of the director of such organization, institution or agency or the signature of the director's authorized agent;

(3) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Consumer Protection.

(b) The commissioner, with the advice and assistance of the Electrical Work Board established pursuant to subsection (b) of section 20-331 of the general statutes, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, to (1) establish requirements for accredited continuing professional education for electricians licensed pursuant to sections 20-330 to 20-341, inclusive, of the general statutes; (2) establish qualifying criteria for accredited continuing professional education programs and establish qualifying criteria for acceptable certificates of continuing education; and (3) provide for the waiver of required accredited continuing professional education for electricians for good cause.

(c) The commissioner, with the advice and assistance of the Plumbing and Piping Work Board established pursuant to subsection (d) of section 20-331 of the general statutes, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, to (1) establish requirements for accredited continuing professional education for plumbers licensed pursuant to sections 20-330 to 20-341, inclusive, of the general statutes; (2) establish qualifying criteria for accredited continuing professional education programs and establish qualifying criteria for acceptable certificates of continuing education; and (3) provide for the waiver of required accredited continuing professional education for plumbers for good cause.

Sec. 2. Section 20-335 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

Any person who has successfully completed an examination for [his] such person's initial license under this chapter shall pay to the Department of Consumer Protection a fee of seventy-five dollars for a contractor's license or a fee of sixty dollars for any other such license. All such licenses shall expire annually. No person shall carry on or engage in the work or occupations subject to this chapter after the expiration of [his] such person's license until such person has filed an application bearing the date of [his] such person's registration card with the appropriate board. Such application shall be in writing, addressed to the secretary of the board from which such renewal is sought and signed by the person applying for such renewal. A licensee applying for renewal shall, at such times as the commissioner shall by regulation prescribe, furnish evidence satisfactory to the board that the licensee has completed any continuing professional education required under sections 20-330 to 20-341, inclusive, and section 1 of this act, or any regulations adopted thereunder. The board may renew such license if the application for such renewal is received by the board no later than one month after the date of expiration of such license, upon payment to the department of a renewal fee of seventy-five dollars in the case of a contractor and of sixty dollars for any other such license. The department shall issue a receipt stating the fact of such payment, which receipt shall be a license to engage in such work or occupation. A licensee who has failed to renew [his] such licensee's license for a period of over one year from the date of expiration of such license shall have it reinstated only upon complying with the requirements of section 20-333. All license fees and renewal fees paid to the department pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the General Fund.

Sec. 3. Section 21a-8 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The Department of Consumer Protection shall have the following powers and duties, with regard to each board or commission transferred to the Department of Consumer Protection under section 21a-6:

(1) The department shall control the allocation, disbursement and budgeting of funds appropriated to the department for the operation of each board or commission transferred to said department.

(2) The department shall employ and assign such personnel as the commissioner deems necessary for the performance of each board or commission's functions.

(3) The department shall perform all management functions, including purchasing, bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, secretarial, clerical, record-keeping and routine housekeeping functions.

(4) The department shall conduct any necessary review, inspection or investigation regarding qualifications of applicants for licenses or certificates, possible violations of statutes or regulations, accreditation of schools, disciplinary matters and the establishment of regulatory policy, and make recommendations to the appropriate board or commission. In connection with any investigation, the Commissioner of Consumer Protection or the commissioner's authorized agent may administer oaths, issue subpoenas, compel testimony and order the production of books, records and documents. If any person refuses to appear, to testify or to produce any book, record or document when so ordered, a judge of the Superior Court may make such order as may be appropriate to aid in the enforcement of this section.

(5) The department shall administer any examinations necessary to ascertain the qualifications of applicants for licenses or certificates and shall issue licenses or certificates to qualified applicants. The department shall maintain rosters of licensees or registrants updated annually and may provide copies of rosters to the public for an appropriate fee.

(6) The department shall conduct any necessary investigation and follow-up in connection with complaints regarding persons subject to regulation or licensing by the board or commission.

(7) The department shall perform any other function necessary to the effective operation of the board or commission and not specifically vested by statute in the board or commission.

(8) The department shall receive complaints concerning the work and practices of persons licensed, registered or certified by such boards or commissions and shall receive complaints concerning unauthorized work and practice by persons not licensed, registered or certified by such boards or commissions. The department shall distribute monthly a list of all complaints received within the previous month to the chairperson of the appropriate board or commission. The department shall screen all complaints and dismiss any in which the allegation, if substantiated, would not constitute a violation of any statute or regulation. The department shall distribute notice of all such dismissals monthly to the chairperson of the appropriate board or commission. The department shall investigate any complaint in which the allegation, if substantiated, would constitute a violation of a statute or regulation under its jurisdiction. In conducting the investigation, the commissioner may seek the assistance of a member of the appropriate board, an employee of any state agency with expertise in the area, or if no such member or employee is available, a person from outside state service licensed to perform the work involved in the complaint. Board or commission members involved in an investigation shall not participate in disciplinary proceedings resulting from such investigation. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may dismiss a complaint following an investigation if [he] the commissioner determines that such complaint lacks probable cause. Notice of such dismissal shall be given only after approval by the chairperson of the appropriate board or commission. The commissioner may authorize a settlement if the settlement is approved by the complainant, the practitioner, and the board or commission. The commissioner may bring a complaint before the appropriate board or commission for a formal hearing if he determines that there is probable cause to believe that the offense alleged in the complaint has been committed and that the practitioner named in the complaint was responsible. The commissioner, or the commissioner's authorized agent, shall have the power to issue subpoenas to require the attendance of witnesses or the production of records, correspondence, documents or other evidence in connection with any hearing of a board or commission. All dispositions and final decisions by the Department of Consumer Protection after an investigation into a complaint has begun shall be forwarded to the chairperson of the appropriate board or commission on a monthly basis.

(9) The department may contract with a third party, if the commissioner deems it necessary and if the appropriate board or commission consents, to administer licensing examinations and perform all attendant administrative functions in connection with such examination and to monitor continuing professional education requirements, and may require the payment of [an examination] a fee to such third party.