DFL Senators push bill to regulate painters

Last week, I released my new Policy Briefing, “Counteracting Regulatory Burdens,” which calls for state policymakers to enact a Pay-as-You-Go provision whereby new regulatory requirements or costs must be offset by eliminating old ones and adopt Sunset Provisions for state regulations. As if to illustrate the need for such measures, along comes SF 3554.

SF 3554, sponsored by Senators McEwen (DFL), Seeberger (DFL), and Hoffman (DFL), would much more tightly regulate, not only the sale of paint to Minnesotans, but also who could use that paint.

Here are some highlights:

(a) The sale of solvent-based paint materials is restricted to those persons licensed under section 326B.61. The restriction under this paragraph excludes sales of solvent-based paint materials sold in containers that are a gallon or less in volume and household spray paints dispensed from an aerosol can.

(b) For purposes of this section, “solvent-based paint materials” means nonwaterborne paint and paint thinners.

Except as otherwise provided by law, no individual shall perform or supervise painting work unless the individual is licensed by the commissioner as a master painter, and the painting work is for a licensed paint contractor and the individual is an employee, partner, or officer of, or is the licensed contractor.

Subd. 4. Unlicensed individuals. (a) An unlicensed individual means an individual who is not licensed by the commissioner to perform painting work. An unlicensed individual shall not perform painting work required to be performed by a licensed individual unless the individual has first registered with the department as an unlicensed individual. Thereafter, an unlicensed individual shall not perform painting work required to be performed by a licensed individual unless the work is performed under the direct supervision of an individual actually licensed to perform such work. The licensed individual and unlicensed individual must be employed by the same employer. Licensed individuals shall not permit unlicensed individuals to perform painting work except under the direct supervision of an individual actually licensed to perform such work. Unlicensed individuals shall not supervise the performance of painting work or make assignments of painting work to unlicensed individuals.

(b) Contractors employing unlicensed individuals to perform painting work shall maintain records establishing compliance with this subdivision that shall identify all unlicensed individuals performing painting work and shall permit the department to examine and copy all such records.

Subd. 6. Bond required. As a condition of licensing, each contractor shall give and maintain bond to the state in the penal sum of $25,000. The bond must comply with section 326B.0921.

Subd. 7. Insurance required. Each contractor shall have and maintain in effect general liability insurance, which includes premises and operations insurance and products and completed operations insurance, with limits of at least $100,000 per occurrence, $300,000 aggregate limit for bodily injury, and property damage insurance with limits of at least $50,000 or a policy with a single limit for bodily injury and property damage of $300,000 per occurrence and $300,000 aggregate limits. Such insurance shall be written by an insurer licensed to do business in the state of Minnesota and each contractor shall maintain on file with the commissioner a certificate evidencing such insurance. In the event of a policy cancellation, the insurer shall send written notice to the commissioner at the same time that a cancellation request is received from or a notice is sent to the insured.

Subd. 9. Examination. In addition to the other requirements described in this section and sections 326B.091 to 326B.098, as a precondition to issuance of a personal license, each applicant must pass a written or oral examination developed and administered by the commissioner to ensure the competence of each applicant for license. An oral examination shall be administered only to an applicant who furnishes a written statement from a certified teacher or other professional, trained in the area of reading disabilities stating that the applicant has a specific reading disability which would prevent the applicant from performing satisfactorily on a written test. The oral examination shall be structured so that an applicant who passes the examination will not impair the applicant’s own safety or that of others while acting as a licensed individual.

And on and on and on for 11 pages.

There is absolutely no need for this ridiculous bill whatsoever. It is regulation for the sake of regulation, nothing more. This, though, is what too many state policymakers live for and it is why Minnesotans need the protection of the measures set out in our new Policy Briefing.