Contractor Law Revisited

A state representative from Siloam Springs is hoping to roll back a piece of legislation passed two years ago.

But he won't accomplish it without a fight from the agency that oversees contractors.

Act 1208 was passed the last time lawmakers gathered in Little Rock. It requires a license for any roofer, repairman or home remodeler doing a job that costs over $2,000.

Just last week we told you about two contractor complaintsone in North Little Rock involving a $57,000 job where inspectors have found dozens of problems.

And one in Malvern for which a family paid a contractor $7,000 last summer for two new roofsonly to never have him return.

In both cases the contractors in question have licenses that could be yanked by the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board.

Until last year the board had no authority over residential home remodelers or repairmen.

"That's really the point of not to burden the good guys," explains Greg Crow with the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board. "And this is a very, very low burden. But (the purpose is) to have something to take away from the bad guys."

"If I would have been a small contractor starting out in life and had all the rules and regulations that there are today I'd probably never been able to make it," says state representative Jonathan Barnett.

Barnett, a Republican, believes the Licensing Board is putting an unnecessary burden on small contractors who want to replace a roof, remodel a kitchen or put siding on a house.

"This is a right to work state and even small people should have the right to go out and work on construction jobs on people's homes without having to come to the state and get a license," says Rep. Barnett.

"There are always individuals that don't like any kind of licensing or anything like that," says Crow. "I respect that opinion. I understand that opinion."

Barnett's bill will likely get a first hearing before the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor next week.

Air date: March 21st, 2013