PA 09-153—sSB 849

Public Safety and Security Committee

General Law Committee

Planning and Development Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL ENFORCEMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL LICENSURE LAWS AND DEFINING MILLWRIGHT WORK

SUMMARY: This act narrows the circumstances in which a municipality gets half the revenue from fines collected for certain occupational 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 act seeks to clarify the distinction between “heating, piping and cooling work” and “plumbing and piping work” on the one hand and “millwright work” on the other. Under the act, (1) “heating, piping and cooling work” includes 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 and (2) “plumbing and piping work” includes 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. Neither type of work includes “millwright work,” which the act defines as the installation, repair, replacement, maintenance, or alteration of power generation machinery or industrial machinery, including the related interconnection of piping and tubing used in manufacturing, but not the performance of any action requiring an occupational license.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009 for the provisions pertaining to occupational violations; October 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. The commissioner must remit to municipalities one-half of the amount he collects from penalties for violations initially reported by a municipal official. The act 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 prior law, remittances also applied to violations of chapters 394 and 482.

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 Heating, Cooling, and Sheet Metal 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 issuing and renewing licenses.