The legislature has officially adjourned the 2019 special session, sending several industry-related pieces of legislation on its way to Governor Walz.
Legislative Commission on Housing Affordability – The creation of the Commission ushers in a new era in housing policy. The multi-year commission is charged with analyzing issues relating to housing affordability and will ultimately recommend housing policies that balance safety, durability, local control and affordability.
Contractor Continuing Ed Curriculum – Requires one hour of business management strategies training as a part of 14 credit hours required for Minnesota contractors within their two-year licensing period. This is similar to the currently required energy hour.
Contractor Recovery Fund; Consumer Awareness Campaign – Under this provision, the commissioner of labor and industry will conduct a statewide consumer awareness campaign in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 highlighting the importance of hiring licensed contractors as well as the consequences of hiring unlicensed contractors. This will be funded with dollars from the contractor recovery fund, up to $500,000 per year.
Retainage – Under the provision, public and private entities are required to pay out all retainage within 60 days of substantial completion. After substantial completion, the provision would allow for withholding of up to 250 percent of the value for incomplete or defective work.
Wage Theft- Under this provision, wage theft in excess of $1,000 would become a felony crime. It would also penalize retaliation against employees who report wage theft. The Department of Labor and Industry and the attorney general are tasked with enforcement.
License Number to be Displayed– Any vehicle used by a plumbing contractor while performing plumbing work shall have the contractor’s name and license number in contrasting color affixed to each side of the vehicle.