Bill to Regulate R.I. Contractors Filed

June 22, 2006

House Speaker Tempore Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston) has introduced legislation to regulate the registration of contractors in Rhode Island.

The legislation (2006-H 8245) would amend the contractors’ registration chapter by increasing fines, providing for continuing education for contractors, requiring certain contractors to carry a surety bond and establishing a residential contractor guaranty fund for homeowners affected by rogue contractors.

The bill would require contractors to have liability and property damage insurance of not less than $500,000 combined single limit, in addition to worker’ compensation coverage.

Insurance companies would be required to notify the state in the event a contractor’s insurance is cancelled or not renewed.

Contractors would be charged an annual $120 registration fee.

The introduction of the bill comes following a hearing by the Special House Commission to Examine the Issue of Licensing Builders and Contractors in May. The committee heard from individuals who have been involved in disputes with contractors.

The commission is currently studying Rhode Island’s regulations pertaining to the licensing of contractors, and is examining whether changes to the Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration Board are necessary.

Currently, Rhode Island does not have a licensing process for builders and contractors. They need only to register with the Board of Contractors, pay a registration fee, and show proof of insurance to work legally in Rhode Island.

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