Have you ever hired a Home Improvement Contractor only to have them perform less than acceptable work? Or ever had them take a deposit never to return? Have you had to have a case litigated?
I am seeking consumers who have had issues with Home Improvement Contractors to either submit written testimony or come to a Public Hearing scheduled in Hartford for Thursday, Feb. 21st at 9:30 am.
As the law stands now, the only requirement to obtain a HIC (Home Improvement Contractor) registration in the State of CT is to pay a $220 registration fee. Those contractors do not need to have 1. Any experience 2. Any knowledge of State Building Codes 3. No concept of what constitutes a legal acceptable contract according to the laws of the state of CT. Outraged? You should be. Anyone can obtain a registration and work on the integrity of your home, not knowing a THING about the business. It is time that the State of CT holds Home Improvement Contractors to a higher standard. Real Estate and Insurance agents must attend classes and pass a test. Why not contractors?
My bill as introduced protects not only the homeowner, but the contractor as well. Any new contractor, not holding a registration for the past 5 consecutive years must take classes and pass a written exam. (Minimal fee to cover the costs) All contractors will be required to pass a back ground check. Yes, you could be allowing a convicted felon into your home. Any contractor holding a registration for 5 consecutive years would be required to pass an open book test (no cost) on basic knowledge and laws pertaining to their business. All contractors, just like electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors, would then be required to take 12 CEU classes a year (no cost to the contractor) to learn CT State Building Codes and code changes. Contractors will benefit in that if they are just starting out in business they will learn the basics of code, when a permit is needed, how to write a proper contract which will protect BOTH parties and so much more.
I am also looking for some consumers that would be willing to share their story at a press conference which will be held prior to the public hearing.
Here is the information on the upcoming Public Hearing:
HB 5149 Home Contractors Licensing
DATE: Thursday, February 21st - NEXT THURSDAY
TIME: Sign-up to attend the hearing begins at 9:30 AM – Actual hearing is at 1:00PM
PLACE: Room 2A of the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capital Ave., Hartford, CT
1. Written Testimony
Please write out your testimony as to why Connecticut needs home contractors to be licensed. Include your experiences and thoughts on why you think this needs to be put in place. Make 30 copies to give to the Committee staff at the time of sign-up.
2. Hearing Procedure
- The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads, and Chief Elected Municipal Elected Officials.
- Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.
- Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.
- It's ALWAYS best to have people physically at the Public Hearing- it shows that there is a real interest in the bill and then questions from the committee can be answered.
- You will go to the meeting room and sign up to speak.
- Depending upon the number of bills and number of speakers present, it could be a few hours before you're able to speak.
- You will, in the meantime be able to hear any questions or concerns and can tailor your testimony.
4. Testimony Format:
- Your "testimony" should include reasons why you support the bill.
For questions or additional information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office toll free at 800-842-8267.