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Published September 21st, 2016
Baker's Bill Helps Consumers Finds Contractors

It will now be easier for consumers to find and check for a licensed contractor thanks to legislation authored by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker.
Under current law, California consumers are required to use a licensed contractor for construction projects costing more than $500. When an unlicensed contractor is used, consumers risk suffering financial loss, costly lawsuits, and shoddy workmanship with little recourse. Regrettably, the Contractor's State License Board website only allows consumers to search for contractors by name or license number. As a result, consumers cannot utilize the board's website to find a licensed contractor. Instead, they can only look up a contractor for whom they already have a name or license number.
Governor Brown recently signed Baker's bill, AB 2486, which fixes this problem and requires the board to update its website to allow consumers to search for licensed contractors by zip code. This important feature will help make it easier for individuals to find contractors working in their community and prevent consumers from falling victim to the underground economy and unlicensed contractor scams.
"Although it only makes a small change to the Contractor's State License Board website, AB 2486 will have a significant impact on improving consumer protection and access to important information," said Baker. "At the four Senior Fraud Seminars we've hosted throughout the district, constituents made it loud and clear that they want easier ways to search for and screen contractors in order to avoid and detect scams from unlicensed contractors. Making government serve more efficiently is what I'm about, and I'm so pleased that this bill has been signed."
When unlicensed contractors are used, they provide increased risk to consumers, undercut lawful employers, and contribute to the state's unsafe and unlawful underground economy. The Franchise Tax Board estimates that the underground economy costs the state $10 billion annually in uncollected tax revenue. AB 2263 will help combat the use of unlicensed contractors in the underground economy by making it easier for consumers to get information about licensed contractors in their area.
Prior to being signed by the Governor, AB 2486 received unanimous, bipartisan support in both the senate and assembly.

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