OAL Approves Contractors’ State License Board’s Proposed Emergency Rulemaking to Increase Fees

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By Mariela Romo

On December 19, 2019, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Contractors’ State License Board’s (CSLB) proposed emergency regulations to amend section 811, Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) to raise certain CSLB renewal fees to their statutory maximums. Specifically, renewal fees for active licensees increased from $360 to $450, renewal fees for inactive licensees increased from $180 to $225, and renewal fees for home improvement salesperson registration increased from $75 to $95.

In its Findings of Emergency, the Board determined that emergency regulations were necessary in order to address CSLB’s structural budget imbalance and diminishing funds. Concerns that CSLB’s expenditures have increased while license renewals have decreased and a declining Contingent Fund also prompted the Board to initiate emergency rulemaking. According to the findings, if fees were not raised, CSLB’s ability to carry out its enforcement efforts and licensing, investigative, public outreach, and examination functions would be impacted. Furthermore, the Board projected that without the fee increase, there would be insufficient funds at the beginning of the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

At its December 12, 2019 meeting, the CSLB’s Legislative Counsel explained that the increased fees are expected to increase revenue by two and a half million dollars in 2020 and by six million dollars in 2021 and 2022. [Agenda Item G-3]. Furthermore, he reported that the fee increase will allow CSLB to review other fees and complete a fee study in order to determine if those other fee categories should also be increased.

The Board unanimously voted to file emergency rulemaking at its September 24, 2019 meeting. [Agenda Item H-1 at 193]. However, CSLB did not formally notice its intent to adopt emergency regulations until December 3, 2019. The new fee schedule went into effect on February 1, 2020. The emergency regulations expire on June 17, 2020.

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