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HIGHLIGHTS OF Powered By Docstoc
					                               HIGHLIGHTS OF
                              BOARD MEETING

                                 NORWALK, CALIFORNIA
                                     JUNE 24, 2010

                                                                          By Sam K. Abdulaziz
                                                                Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

            Industry Support For CSLB Possibly on the Horizon

                   License Processing Moving Along Well

                           Sam Abdulaziz Receives Certificate of Appreciation

The Contractors’ State License Board held a full Board Meeting on Thursday, June 24, 2010 in
Norwalk, CA. This document merely highlights what may have transpired.

The following Board Members were present:

Chair, Edward ―Eddie‖ Barnes; Vice Chair. Lisa Miller-Strunk; Secretary, Robert Lamb;
Board Members, Joan Hancock; Matthew Kelly; Louise Kirkbride; Ed Lang; Paul Schifino;
Mark Thurman; and Ruben Zuniga.

Board Members that were absent were:

Board Members, Robert Brown and Bruce Rust.

There are three vacant positions on the Board.

Sam Abdulaziz received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Contractors' State License Board.
The Certificate stated:

       ―This Certificate is given with great appreciation to Sam Abdulaziz for his
       many years of dedication to the construction industry, and particularly for
       providing his legal expertise, policy input, and support of board members
       and staff.

       As a result of your diligence and dedication, consumers, contractors, and
       UCLA alumni have benefited from your efforts. We extend our sincerest

     1.     Review and Consideration of Legislation

            None of the following Bills have passed. If they do pass, the following is a short
            summary of how they will affect the legislation currently in place.

          a.       Two-Year Bills

                   i.      AB 660 (Torrico) – Sprinkler Fitters: Licensing
                           This deals with certification and regulation of sprinkler fitters. It
                           prohibits people from working on any fire suppression system
                           unless he or she possesses a valid sprinkler fitter or limited scope
                           sprinkler fitter certificate issued by the State Fire Marshall. It
                           prohibits a person or entity from employing a person to perform
                           work on a suppression system without such a certificate or permit.
                           There would be enforcement by the State Fire Marshall.

          b.       Bills with a Support Position

                   i.      AB 2332 (Eng) – Contractors: Licensees

                           This relates to the CSLB and amends an existing law that provides
                           that the Board may refuse to issue, reinstate, reactivate or renew a
                           license and it may suspend a license for the failure of the licensee
                           to resolve all outstanding final liability, which includes taxes. It
                           also authorizes the Board to take action to resolve those liabilities
                           and taxes.

                   ii.     SB 1254 (Leno) – Contractors: Workers’ Compensation Insurance

                           This authorizes the Registrar of the CSLB to issue a Stop Order to
                           any licensed or unlicensed contractor who, as an employer, has
                           failed to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage for his
                           or her employees. It sets forth procedures for the payment of
                           employees during a work stoppage subject to a Stop Order and for
                           an employer to request a hearing to protest a Stop Order.

                   iii.    SB 1491 (Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development
                           Committee) – Professions and Vocations

                           This is cleanup provisions to the State Contractors’ License Law.
                           It extends the statute of limitations for filing an action to discipline
                           unlicensed contractors so that they conform to the statute of
                           limitations for licensees. Action must be brought within four years
                           from the date of the violation or 18 months after the filing of the
                           complaint, whichever is later.

           c.         Bills with a Watch Position

                      i.     AB 2305 (Knight) – Contractors: Workers’ Compensation

                             This will amend existing law that requires a contractor with a C-39
                             roofing classification to obtain and maintain workers’
                             compensation insurance even if he or she has no employees. It
                             would also extend the operation of those provisions until a certain

                      ii.    SB 1171 (McLeod) – Regulatory Boards: Operations

                             This abolishes the Joint Committee on Boards, Commissions, and
                             Consumer Protection and authorizes the appropriate policy
                             committees of the Legislature to carry out its duties.


      1.        Licensing Program Update

           a.         License Application Workload

                      The average number of applications in the past ten years ranges from 1182
                      to 1897 per month. There was an unusual increase from 2004-2007 which
                      can be attributed to the fingerprint requirements that went into effect in
                      January 2005. The total number of applications received per month
                      include the original exam, original waiver, adding classification, and
                      replacing the qualifier.

           b.         Applications Update

                      In May 2008, the CSLB staff revised seven of its most used applications
                      for licensure, registration, and certification. Some important changes
                      include the addition of red ink throughout the application to highlight
                      important text, addition of a disclaimer about schools, and other such

           c.         License Transaction Processing Times

                      CSLB management monitors processing times for the various units on a
                      weekly and monthly basis. During the fiscal year 2008/09, the Licensing
                      division utilized a minimal amount of overtime as compared to previous
                      fiscal years and, despite the 15% reduction in staff hours due to furloughs,
                      the Licensing Division has maintained acceptable processing times, which
                      can be attributed to the overall decrease in applications.

     d.          Fingerprinting/Criminal Background Unit Update

                 Since the fingerprint program began in 2005, the CSLB has received more
                 than 213,000 transmittals from the Department of Justice, including clear
                 codes and conviction information. Of the applicants who were
                 fingerprinted during that time period, the CSLB Criminal Background
                 Unit received Criminal Offender Record Information for nearly 35,000
                 applicants, which means that the California Department of Justice and/or
                 the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that the individual had a past
                 criminal conviction.

     e.          Licensing Information Center Update

                 Among the units in the Licensing Division, the Licensing Information
                 Center has seen the greatest impact as a result of the staff furloughs.
                 While the number of calls received in the Licensing Information Center
                 has remained relatively consistent over the calendar year 2008/09, due to
                 the 15% reduction in staff hours, call wait times have increased by 14%
                 overall in 2009.

     f.          Judgment Unit Update

                 The Judgment Unit processes all outstanding liabilities, judgments and
                 payment of claims reported to the Board by licensees, consumers,
                 attorneys, credit recovery firms, bonding companies, CSLB Enforcement
                 Division and other governmental agencies as well as all documentation
                 and correspondence related to resolving these issues.

2.        Testing Division Update

     a.          Testing Center Status

                 i.     San Diego – Increased capacity to 28 by relocating to new space.
                        This move was completed in February 2010.
                 ii.    Fresno – Relocated to increase capacity and resolve security issues.
                        This move was completed in May 2010.
                 iii.   Oxnard – Relocation was required due to the expiration of the
                        lease. The move to the new location was completed in the first
                        week of June 2010.
                 iv.    The total seating capacity at test centers as of 2005 was 142 and is
                        now 270 this year.

     b.          Testing Division Staffing

                 There is currently one half-time position and one full-time position vacant.
                 Recruitment is underway to fill the full-time position while there are no
                 plans to fill the half-time position to achieve the required budget savings.

            c.          Examination Development

                        The Testing Division’s Examination Development Unit manages the
                        responsibility of ensuring that the licensing examinations are currentl and
                        relevant and that all licensed contractors exhibit basic business
                        competency skills by ensuring that the CSLB’s 45 examinations are
                        maintained and updated in accordance with testing standards, guidelines,
                        and CSLB regulations.


       1.        Website Highlights

            a.          New Email Alert Feature

                        Subscriptions are now available to receive alerts for

                                 California Licensed Contractor Newsletter
                                 Press Release/Consumer Alerts
                                 Industry Bulletins
                                 Public Meeting Notices/Agendas

            b.          License Look-Up Feature Enhancement

                        The Public Affairs Office is working with the Information Technology
                        division to revamp CSLB’s online license look-up feature. It currently
                        allows people to check a license by its license number unless you click on
                        other options. The new layout will put all options together.

            c. Page

                        The CSLB is able to upload videos of unlimited length to this website,
                        which is the most popular video site on the Internet.

       2.        Disaster Outreach Highlights

                 The Public Affairs Office coordinated with the Enforcement Division to staff a
                 Local Assistance Center in the city of El Centro during the weeks of April 16 and
                 April 26, 2010. This center was set up to support consumers who suffered
                 damage from the 7.2 earthquake that struck on April 3, 2010, just south of the
                 California-Mexico border.

       3.        Media Relations Highlights

            a.          Press Releases

                        i.       April 15, 2010    CSLB Cracks Down on Unlicensed Contractors
                                                   Trying to work in Tehama County

                 ii.    April 15, 2010    CSLB Cements 15 Cases Against Unlicensed
                 iii.   April 22, 2010    CSLB helps Consumers Protect Kids from Lead
                                          Exposure in Their Homes
                 iv.    April 30, 2010    CSLB Sting Snares Unlicensed Contractors
                                          Twice in One Month
                 v.     May 10, 2010      CSLB Warns Californians: Don’t Get Burned
                                          When Going Solar
                 vi.    May 20, 2010      CSLB Goes Undercover to Catch Unlicensed
                                          Contractors in Siskiyou County
                 vii.   May 25, 2010      Unlicensed Contractors ―Boxed In‖ during
                                          CSLB Sting in El Cajon
                 viii. May 25, 2010       CSLB Sting Nets Nine Phone Contractors in
                                          Tuolumne County
                 ix.    May 25, 2010      CSLB Sting Cathces 12 Unlicensed Operators

     b.          Media Calls

                 There were 31 separate media inquires between April 15, and June 7,
                 2010, wherein the Public Affairs Office provided interviews to a variety of
                 newspapers, radio, and television outlets.

     c.          Media Event

                 The Public Affairs Office conducted a press event in Siskiyou County on
                 May 20, 2010 that announced the results of a undercover sting and sweep
                 operation near the California-Oregon state line.

4.        Industry/Licensee Outreach Highlights

     a.          Industry Bulletins

     b.          The Industry Bulletins serve as alerting industry members of important
                 and interesting news. They are sent out from the CSLB by email to over
                 200 people and groups, who then forward them to countless other email
                 addresses. There were two Bulletins sent out between April 15, 2010 and
                 June 7, 2010:

                 i.     April 22, 2010    Hefty Fines for Violators of New Lead Paint
                                          Standards Begin
                 ii.    May 13, 2010      Up-To-Date Contractors Information Vital to
                                          License Processing

5.        Building Department Outreach Highlights

          In August 2009, the Public Affairs Office conducted a major outreach effort to the
          state’s 500 plus building departments and distributed consumer posters, brochures
          and table-top holder, along with newly published Building Official Information
          Guides for staff.

6.        Reality Show Highlights

          The reality TV show project is on hold. CSLB heard on April 30, 2010, that the
          DIY Network, which had expressed interest in the show’s concept, was going to
          pass on the project. The project is currently being shopped to other cable TV

7.        Publications Highlights

          Between April 15, and June 7, 2010, a number of publications have been
          completed, moved into production, or are being reviewed and designed.

     a.          Completed Publications

                 i.     2009 Accomplishments & Activities Report
                 ii.    Board Procedures Manual
                 iii.   CSLB Matters (Employee) Newsletter
                 iv.    Winter/Spring 2010 California Licensed Contractors Newsletter

     b.          Publications Being Printed/Awaiting Department of Consumer Affairs

                 i.     After a Disaster Don’t Get Scammed (English Brochure)
                 ii.    Industry Experts Program (English Brochure)
                 iii.   Owner-Builder (English Brochure)
                 iv.    What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor (English
                 v.     What Seniors Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor (English
                 vi.    Mandatory and Voluntary Arbitration (English Brochure)

     c.          Publications Currently in Production/Design/Review

                 i.     2010/11 Strategic Plan
                 ii.    Blueprint for Becoming a Licensed Contractor
                 iii.   Contracting for Success
                 iv.    Description of Classifications
                 v.     Preventing Mechanic’s Liens
                 vi.    Owner-Builder (Spanish Brochure)
                 vii.   What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor (English

8.        Community Outreach Highlights

          Between April 15, and June 7, 2010, the Public Affairs Office conducted a total of
          four Senior Scam Stopper seminars. Two more are scheduled to be held in June
          in Tracy and Yucaipa.


      1.        Intake/Mediation Centers

           a.          Overview

                       The Intake and Mediation Centers provide complaint-handling
                       information to the public and initiate reactive complaints filed against
                       unlicensed and licensed contractors. They are also responsible for
                       inputting all available complaint details into the CSLB’s database. Their
                       primary function is to intervene with the conflicting parties to promote
                       reconciliation, compromise, or settlement of the complaint issues.

           b.          Intake/Mediation Center Highlights

                       i.         Electrical Repair Results in Full Investigation of Contractor
                       ii.        Mediation Reveals 50 Unregistered Salespeople
                       iii.       Contractor Goes Above & Beyond to Save Reputation

      2.        Investigative Centers

           a.          Overview

                       Investigative Centers are the second step in the complaint-handling
                       process. If a complaint cannot be resolved through the Intake/Mediation
                       Center or requires a more thorough investigation into violations of
                       Contractor License Law, the complaint is referred to an Investigative
                       Center in the geographical location of the project site and is assigned to an
                       enforcement representative who then provides a disposition to the
                       complaint after conducting an extensive investigation.

           b.          Investigative Center Highlights

                       i.         Enforcement Representative Receives Full Admission to Crime
                       ii.        Non-Licensee Pleads Guilty to Elder Abuse & Unlicensed Activity
                       iii.       Public Works Arena in Need of Enforcement
                       iv.        Fatality Referral Results in Jail Time and Possible Revocation
                       v.         Unlicensed Contractor Cons Community out of $300,000 plus.
                       vi.        J. Barnes Construction Revoked for Negligent Behavior

      3.        Case Management

           a.          Overview

                       Case Management is divided into three main units:

                                 Disciplinary Services Section has statewide responsibility for
                                  processing accusations and appeals of denied license applications,

                            and monitors licensees’ compliance status with the Board’s
                            disciplinary actions.
                           Enforcement Services Section has statewide responsibility for
                            completing applicant experience verifications and flag
                            investigations, assisting in disputes referred to the Board’s
                            Mandatory or Voluntary Arbitration programs, providing
                            determinations on potential out-of-class violations, and researching
                            and investigating subsequent arrests/convictions.
                           Citation Processing Center has statewide responsibility for issuing
                            licensee citations, processing non-licensee and licensee citation
                            appeals, monitoring respondents’ compliance status with the
                            citations, and initiating further disciplinary action, when required.

4.        SWIFT

     a.           Overview

                  The Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) takes a proactive
                  approach to enforcement. SWIFT units, either at the request of
                  individuals, organizations, or governmental authorities, identify
                  geographic areas where unlicensed construction or illegal advertising is a
                  problem. These units may conduct ―sweeps‖ in which they stop at all
                  construction sites in a designated neighborhood and cite any violators of
                  the Contractors License Law.

     b.           Swift Highlights

                  i.        Sweeps

                            There was a formal operation as well as seven sweeps held in May.
                            SWIFT staff paired up with Employment Development
                            Department, Department of Insurance, Marin County District
                            Attorney’s Office, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and
                            various other DA offices. Sweeps were held in Santa Rosa, Cotati,
                            Sonora, Jamestown, Tuolumne City, Angles Camp, Alameda, San
                            Rafael, Bishop, Independence, Big Pine, Lone Pine, Cathedral
                            City, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage; Palm
                            Springs, Yreka, and Big Bear Lake.

                  ii.       Stings

                            In May, SWIFT investigators held six stings in the northern,
                            central and southern California regions. Northern California
                            SWIFT held stings in Contra Costa and Siskiyou Counties.
                            Central Valley SWIFT covered Tuolumne County while Southern
                            SWIFT conducted stings in San Bernardino County, Calabasas and
                            El Cajon.

5.   Review and Approval of Strategies to Combat Unlicensed Practice

     The staff proposed strategies to enhance CSLB’s proactive enforcement efforts in
     combating unlicensed practice at the Enforcement Committee meeting on May
     25, 2010.

     A summary of the proposed strategies are as follows:

      a.     Consumer Educational Letter
      b.     Advertisement Enforcement Pilot Unit
      c.     Telephone Disconnect

6.   Review and Approval of CSLB/Building Official License & Permit Compliance

     At the Enforcement Committee meeting on May 25, 2010, staff proposed
     establishing a partnership at Building Officials from designated Counties to
     increase permit and license compliance in an effort to reduce permit compliance
     burdens on licensed contractors and redirect resources towards unlicensed contractors and
     other egregious permit violators. A motion to submit the recommendation to the full Board was
     made by Committee Member Matt Kelly and seconded by Committee Member Jim
     Miller. The motion carried 5 - 0.

     The Enforcement division will accomplish this by implementing the following:

            Establish a baseline for the number of permits issued each year in specific
             trades/classifications (i.e., HVAC, roofing, and residential additions)
            Establish a baseline for the number of business licenses issued to construction
            Establish partnerships with businesses, such as Home Depot, to provide
             consumers and contractors with educational information regarding permit and
             licensure requirements
            Improve accessibility of building permit applications by making them available at
             private businesses and/or online
            Develop recommendations that encourage licensees to pull permits and provide
             proof of workers' compensation insurance and obtain permits; discourage
             "owner-builder" permits (i.e., require owners to be present for all inspections for
             owner-builder permits)
            Send the CSLB industry bulletin regarding CSLB enhanced permit
             enforcement to all licensees in the designated classifications operating in the
             vicinity of the selected building departments' jurisdictions
            Identify sting targets, as follows:
             o        Unlicensed contractors working without permits or under an owner-builder
             o        Material supplier records identifying recipient of materials, i.e.
                      roofing supplier, HVAC units, etc. (will be obtained through
                      administrative subpoena, if necessary)
             o        Prior inspection of owner-builder permit determined contractor(s) working
                      on- site
                     o      Contractors who advertise for significant work and have a history with the
                            building department of not obtaining permits
                    Conduct license and workers' compensation compliance sweeps of
                     construction sites with representatives from local building departments
                     and code enforcement offices, along with partners—EDD, DLSE and the
                     Department of Insurance


     1.        Administrative Program Update

          a.         Personnel Update

                     The Enforcement Representative I will be administered as a continuous
                     merged exam and on an Open Non-promotional basis. The advantage of
                     an Open Non-promotional exam feature is there is an identified promotion
                     group within the department, and three career credits will be added to the
                     candidates’ final score.

          b.         IWAS

                     The IWAS unit has cleared up the backlog and is therefore current with
                     License application scanning. Staff worked hard and spent overtime hours
                     to achieve this.

          c.         Business Services Update

                     i.      Fleet

                             a.      In response to the Executive Order prohibiting the
                                     purchasing of vehicles, secured vehicle enclosures were
                                     requested and/or installed at various CSLB locations to
                                     allow on-site storage of vehicles and enable shared use of
                                     the available fleet. A total of 14 vehicles, which have
                                     passed their useful life, are being prepared for survey to the
                                     Davis Action for FY 09/10.

                     ii.     Contracts

                             a.      Submitted a contract request to the Department of
                                     Consumer Affairs to renew the Public Outreach contract for
                                     one additional year. The original contract was scheduled to
                                     expire June 30, 2010.

                             b.      Mailing ―Pre-Sort‖ contract submitted to the Department of
                                     Consumer Affairs for processing. It is estimated that the
                                     CSLB will save approximately $50,000 annually in postage
                                     by using pre-sort services.

           d.          Information Technology Division Update

                       i.     Electronic Payment at CSLB Headquarters
                       ii.    Automated Call Distribution System Replacement
                       iii.   Pocket Card Equipment Replacement and New Mailing System
                       iv.    iLicensing/BreEZe – Online Licensing Services

           e.          Budget Update

                       The CSLB budget for FY 2009/10, including adjustments contains a net
                       appropriation of $55.6 million (including scheduled reimbursements).
                       Through April 30, 2010, CSLB spent or encumbered $43 million, roughly
                       77.4 percent of its budget.


      The construction industry is one of California’s largest industries and California is one of
      the top 10 world economies. This creates an enormous demand for contractor licensing.

      1.        Significant Accomplishments of 2009-2010

                Some of the significant accomplishments over the past year and a half include
                expanding partnerships by leveraging staff and resources, maintaining
                productivity despite furloughs and downsizing, a stronger emphasis on cost-
                effectiveness by the management, excellent morale and competency with the
                Registrar and key staff, and expanded public and media awareness.

                a.     Program Priorities

                       The Board’s priorities have been established to include focus on early
                       intervention, and consumer education about their rights and

                b.     Challenges and Changes

                       Given the economic struggles, CSLB must continually adjust to dynamic
                       initiatives, technologies and priorities to address the following in the
                       coming fiscal year:

                       i.     Sunset Review Report

                       ii.    New Administration Priorities

                       iii.   State budget challenges

                       iv.    CSLB’s long-term budget and revenue base

     v.       Workers’ compensation, including solar, HVAC, and other
              climate-related trades that are creating licensing, classification and
              enforcement issues

     vi.      Passage of landmark SB1254 and its successful implementation

     vii.     BreEZe and its impact on CSLB’s Information Technology

     viii.    Public works agency award processes that cause challenges for
              licensing classification and enforcement

     ix.      Organizational development and training, and overall succession

c.   Strategic Direction

     The Board has identified numerous actions in order to advance the CSLB,
     meet its challenges, and capitalize on opportunities in Enforcement, Public
     Affairs, Licensing, Information Technology, and Legislative Affairs.

d.   Mission

     The CSLB protects consumers by regulating the construction industry
     through policies that promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the
     public in matters relating to construction.

e.   Vision

     California consumers and contractors will have a safe, fair, and
     competitive marketplace.

f.   Values

     The CSLB will strive for the highest possible quality throughout all of its

g.   Goals

     The CSLB has established goals based upon its five main divisions, to
     provide the framework of its operational mission:

     i.       Licensing

              Ensure that all applicants and licensees are qualified to provide
              construction services.

                             ii.       Enforcement

                                       Reduce, eliminate, or prevent unlicensed activity and
                                       unprofessional conduct that pose a threat to public health, safety,
                                       and welfare.

                             iii.      Public Affairs

                                       Educate consumers to make informed choices about construction
                                       services, and ensure that licensed contractors strengthen their
                                       technical management and service skills.

                             iv.       Legislation

                                       Ensure that statutes, regulations, policies, and procedures
                                       strengthen and support CSLB operations.

                             v.        Administration

                                       Enhance organizational effectiveness, and improve the quality of
                                       customer service in all programs.


          July 1, 2010 is the scheduled termination of furlough days. However, there is nothing
          written in stone as to what the future of the CSLB’s budget will hold, even though the
          CSLB is a special fund. The CSLB may need industry support at some point in the future
          so be prepared.

          Remember, this document is just a small “highlight” of the Board Meeting.

  Attorney Sam Abdulaziz of Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman has been practicing construction law for over 30 years. He
 has written a book called “California Construction Law” which is updated annually. He represents numerous construction
 trade associations and contractors. He appears at Contractors State License Board meetings and has argued a number of
cases before the appellate courts, including the California Supreme Court dealing with the "Pay-If-Paid Clause." Abdulaziz,
  Grossbart & Rudman provides this information as a service to its friends & clients. The documents are of a general
nature and are intended to highlight areas of the subject matter and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.
It is intended to highlight the areas being discussed. This document does not create an attorney-client relationship, or
    protect any confidential information until a written agreement is signed. You should seek the aid and advice of a
  competent attorney, accountant and/or other professional instead of relying on the presentation and/or documents.
Sam Abdulaziz can be reached at Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman, P.O. Box 15458, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5458;
                       (818) 760-2000, Facsimile (818) 760-3908; or by E-Mail at .
                                    On the Internet, visit our Website at

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