Builders should follow state licensing law

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2005

In response to the misinformation put forth by Jim Callahan, in his letter on April 25, I need to respond. House Bill 81 establishes a civil penalty process for the Alaska Department of Labor personnel to enforce current laws regarding contractors operating businesses in the state. Administrative hearing officers will provide the necessary due process, and anyone cited for unlawful business practices can plead their case to a court if they wish. Mr. Callahan's $2,500 value is erroneous (law currently restricts work above $5,000). Thousands of hard-working contractors and handymen alike operate their businesses within the legal parameters of the current statutes.

It's time for Alaskan businesses to be responsible and professional by conducting their business practices within the rule of law. If citizens object to the current law, then there are mechanisms to change the laws governing contractor's licensing. HB 81 is strictly an enforcement measure regarding the current state law.

The bill does not restrict anybody any more than what current law already provides. It's a shame when those individuals who admit to violating the law, as many individuals have testified before legislative committees and have decided to go public and cry foul. It's the thousands of legitimate contractors who play by all of the rules (licensing, insurance, bonding, worker's compensation insurance, legitimate employee payroll deductions) who should be outraged. Current enforcement practices do not work effectively and continue to reward the outlaws. I urge all homeowners and consumers to join a very large list of law-abiding contractors, builders and specialty contractors and even legitimate handymen and women in supporting Rep. Tom Anderson and the passage of HB 81 (Contractor Licensing Enforcement Bill) this legislative session.

If Mr.Callahan wants to act as a contractor in the state of Alaska, I suggest he obtain the proper licenses and insurance required and join the thousands of Alaskan homebuilders, contractors and industry professionals who do and obey the law. I am a licensed builder with a residential endorsement, representing an industry that does support current statutes including the passage of HB 81.

Jeff DeSmet


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