OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 849 (File 121, as amended by House “A” and Senate “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL ENFORCEMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL LICENSURE LAWS.

SUMMARY:

This bill narrows the circumstances in which a municipality gets half the revenue from fines collected for certain occupational violations. It thus potentially reduces the amount of revenue a municipality receives from such violations. It also codifies a local building official's authority to notify the consumer protection commissioner of anyone working at a building construction site without the requisite permit or license.

The bill also expands the definition of “heating, piping and cooling work” to include the installation of tubing and piping mains and branch lines up to and including the closest valve to a machine or equipment used in manufacturing. It also expands the definition of “plumbing and piping work” to include the installation, repair, replacement, alteration, or maintenance of tubing and piping mains and branch lines up to and including the closest valve to a machine or equipment used in manufacturing. The bill thereby subjects people engaged in these activities to the licensing requirements and disciplinary authority of the pertinent licensing board (see BACKGROUND). The bill does not apply to millwright work, which it defines as the installation, repair, replacement, maintenance, or alteration of (1) power generation machinery or (2) industrial machinery, including the related interconnection of piping and tubing used in manufacturing. It does not include the performance of any action requiring an occupational license.

*Senate Amendment “A” adds the definition of millwright work and expands the definition of (1) “heating, piping, and cooling” work and (2) “plumbing and piping work.

*House Amendment “A” redefines Senate “A's” definition of millwright work to (1) include work on power generation machinery and (2) exclude any action requiring licensure.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009 for the provisions pertaining to the definitions; July 1, 2009 for the other provisions.

FINES AND PENALTIES

By law, the consumer protection commissioner or appropriate occupational examining board may levy civil penalties on people who violate occupational licensing laws by working without the requisite license or certificate. Under current law, the commissioner must remit to municipalities one-half of the amount he collects from penalties for violations initially reported by a municipal official. The bill limits municipal remittances to fines collected in cases (1) reported by building officials, rather than all municipal officials, and (2) involving violations of chapter 393 at a building construction site. Under current law, remittances also apply to violations of chapters 394 and 482 (see BACKGROUND).

BACKGROUND

Occupational Licensing and Examining Boards

State law establishes a licensing system for several trades overseen by different licensing boards, including the Examining Board for Electrical Work and the Examining Board for Plumbing and Piping Work. They have the power to determine who qualifies for a license and to enforce standards by disciplining licensees. Each trade has different levels of expertise apprentice, journeyman, and contractor. Workers must meet education, training, and experience requirements to qualify for each level. Boards may create limited licenses authorizing their holders to work in a specific area of a trade. They establish less extensive: requirements for workers attempting to qualify for a limited license. The Department of Consumer Protection's duties to the boards include receiving complaints, carrying out investigations, and performing administrative tasks, such as physically issuing licenses and renewals.

The occupations the boards oversee are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Occupations Overseen by Examining Boards

Chapter 393

Chapter 394

Chapter 482

Electricians, plumbers, solar heating and piping contractors and journeymen, elevator and fire protection sprinkler craftsmen, irrigation contractors and journeymen, gas hearth installer contactors and journeymen

TV and radio service dealers and electronic technicians

Well drilling contractors

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

20

Nay

0

(02/17/2009)

General Law Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

18

Nay

0

(03/05/2009)

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

17

Nay

0

(04/13/2009)