If you’re planning to remodel your home, it may cost you more money. There is a bill making its way through the Legislature that would tighten up licensing requirements for home repairmen and contractors.
State Sen. Danny Martiny has SB 336 which would impose new licensing requirements on residential contractors. It would also drag in people who do home repair work as well.
Martiny would require anyone who is defined as a “residential contractor” to get a license from the state. In order to get that license, the requires proof of “acceptable” worker’s compensation insurance and a financial statement done by an independent auditor stating the applicant’s assets. To say these requirements, especially the latter, are burdensome is an understatement.
Who would need a license under this bill? Anyone who does at least $7,500 worth of work on a residential property even if you own the property. The bill does however contain an exclusion for personal residences.
This would impact many landlords and other real estate investors. Many “flippers” often serve as their own contractors when they rehab a property in order to sell it. It costs them less money than hiring a general contractor and it helps teach them the basics of the business. Landlords often do the same thing for the same reasons. If a project costs more than $7,500, Danny Martiny and the Legislature want them to either get a license or hire a contractor. Those extra costs have to be made up elsewhere so it will most likely mean higher rents.
This bill is also a restrain of trade. Construction is one of the few ways left that an unskilled, low educated worker can learn a trade and better themselves without going through expensive schooling. Danny Martiny makes that more difficult. By the way, Martiny calls himself a Republican.
Naturally, this bill has already passed the full Louisiana Senate. Only three Senators opposed it.
Martiny will be able to go home and tell the bored housewives in his district that he did something to oppose shady contractors, especially before hurricane season. At least time though, the Senate didn’t have to change “county” to “parish” in the bill because Martiny was too lazy to do that when he filed the “cut and paste” bill on pet store puppies.
To make Danny Martiny feel good, you’ll have to pay more for home repair and remodeling. Because that’s just how the Louisiana Legislature rolls.