Construction Compliance Gets Big Boost from Regulatory Reform

Specialty Contractors See Regulatory Reform as Pipeline to Enforcing Construction Activities and Saving Taxpayers' Money

Sep 12, 2011, 13:39 ET from California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For months, California specialty contractors have encouraged state enforcement agencies to focus their regulatory efforts in the fight against perpetrators of unlawful activities within the construction industry. The California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC) sees SB 617 (Calderon/Pavley) emphasizing regulatory reform and AB 29 (John A. Perez), which creates the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, as two key efforts that set the stage to streamline construction enforcement activities to ensure state regulators' time and taxpayers' money are not wasted. Last week, both bills passed and were sent to the governor for his signature.

"This is an excellent opportunity, particularly in this economy, for regulatory agencies to streamline their operations to more readily answer contractors' questions and educate them on how to comply," says CALPASC Chief Executive Officer Brad Diede. "And by reviewing and minimizing regulations, the cost of compliance will be reduced, so cheaters will have less economic leverage over legitimate contractors." Diede stresses, "We have to teach those who do not know how to comply, and at the same time, give those who do comply a fair advantage."

While CALPASC has been encouraging enforcement agencies to focus their efforts, the Acting Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), Christine Baker, has listened to the construction community and followed Governor Brown's lead in taking steps to reorganize the department and begin structuring enforcement activities to spotlight flagrant violators rather than randomly visiting compliant contractors.

CALPASC estimates the loss to state and local governments in construction-related payroll taxes alone due to illegal actions equals one billion dollars. In 2010, CALPASC implemented the LEVEL Program to work closely with state agencies to fight against illegitimate and dishonest contractors and create a business environment where professional contractors can compete fairly.

According to Diede, "Cheaters skirt the cost of compliance and win jobs from builders and general contractors who allow their subcontractors to operate out of compliance. When that happens, legitimate trade contractors don't get the work, the State of California does not get the tax revenue, employees operate in unsafe conditions and consumers are at risk."

"We anticipate the regulatory reform practices outlined in SB 617 and AB 29's requirement to establish the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development will reinforce the type of efforts demonstrated by the DIR," comments Diede. "We look forward to the continued efforts of legislative leaders and business groups to help put legitimate construction contractors to work."

The California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors is a nonprofit 501(c)6 trade association advocating on behalf of trade contractors and suppliers of building materials in California. CALPASC is committed to educating members on complex issues and advancing safety and compliance within the building industry.

SOURCE California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC)