1998 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representatives McCoy, Bailey, Barnett (92nd), Blackmon, Bowles, Bozeman, Broomfield, Clarke, Coleman (29th), Coleman (65th), Comans, Cummings, Eaton, Ellis, Endt, Formby, Fredericks, Frierson, Gadd, Green (34th), Grist, Hamilton, Henderson (26th), Henderson (9th), Horne, Howell, Huddleston, Hudson, Janus, Ketchings, Livingston, Malone, Maples, Markham, McElwain, McInnis, Middleton, Miles, Mitchell, Morris, Moss, Nettles, Perkins, Read, Robinson (84th), Ryan, Simmons (37th), Simmons (100th), Smith (35th), Smith (39th), Smith (27th), Stevens, Straughter, Stringer, Thomas, Thornton, Walker, Warren, Wells-Smith, West, Young, Bourdeaux, Capps, Clark, Compretta, Denny, Dickson, Evans, Flaggs, Gibbs, Green (96th), Guice, Holden, Ishee, Miller, Moak, Myers, Peranich, Reynolds, Rotenberry, Saucier, Simpson, Vince, Wallace, Stribling, Jennings
House Bill 1894
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 73-59-3 AND 73-59-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE CERTAIN LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR RESIDENTIAL BUILDERS AND REMODELERS; TO AMEND SECTION 73-59-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE STATE BOARD OF CONTRACTORS TO PROVIDE NOTICE OF LICENSING REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES; TO AMEND SECTION 73-59-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE EXEMPTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 73-59-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-59-3. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 73-59-15, persons who perform residential construction or residential improvement shall be licensed by the board annually, and, as a prerequisite to obtaining a license or renewal thereof, each shall submit to the board:
(a) Proof of workers' compensation insurance, if applicable;
(b) A federal employment identification number or social security number.
(2) The board shall not require liability insurance to be licensed under this chapter but if a licensee has liability insurance it shall be reflected on the certificate of licensure.
(3) Any person engaged in residential construction or residential improvement on or before July 1, 1995, shall be duly licensed by the board, without examination, after paying the required license fee by submitting to the board not later than January 31, 1999:
(a) The information described in subsections (1) and (2) of this section; and
(b) (i) A sworn affidavit showing that such person has constructed or improved a minimum of five (5) residential homes or ten (10) apartment units, along with a description and location of such homes or apartment units and the names and addresses of the persons or owners for whom such homes or apartment units were constructed; or
(ii) Proof that such person holds a valid license or certificate of responsibility for general construction issued by the board.
(4) The board shall issue or renew a license to a residential builder or remodeler upon payment to the board of the license fee. The initial license fee shall be Fifty Dollars ($50.00). The license fee may thereafter be increased or decreased by the board and cannot exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00); however, the receipts from fees collected by the board shall be no greater than the amount required to pay all costs and expenses incurred by the board in enforcing the provisions of this chapter. All fees collected under this chapter shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury known as the "State Board of Contractor's Fund" created pursuant to Section 31-3-17 and shall be used only for the administration and enforcement of this chapter. Amounts in such fund shall not lapse into the State General Fund at the end of a fiscal year. Interest accrued to such fund shall remain in the fund. All expenditures from the special fund shall be by requisition to the Department of Finance and Administration, signed by the executive secretary of the board and countersigned by the chairman or vice chairman of the board.
(5) The license shall expire on the last day of the twelfth month following its issuance or renewal and shall become invalid unless renewed. The board shall notify by mail every licensee under this chapter of the date of the expiration of his license and the amount of the fee required for renewal of the license for one (1) year. Such notice shall be mailed within thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date of the license. The failure on the part of any licensee to renew his license annually in such twelfth month shall not deprive such licensee of the right of renewal, provided that renewal is effected within one hundred twenty (120) days after the expiration date of the license by payment of the license fee plus a penalty of one hundred percent (100%) of the license fee. A new license required to replace a revoked, lost, mutilated or destroyed license may be issued, subject to the rules of the board, for a charge of not more than Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00).
(6) Any person who is not a resident of the State of Mississippi who desires to perform residential construction or residential improvement shall be licensed to perform such construction or improvement as provided by this chapter.
SECTION 2. Section 73-59-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-59-5. Any corporation, partnership or individual seeking to be licensed and examined under this chapter shall file with the board at least thirty (30) days prior to the next meeting of the board a written application on such form as may be prescribed by the board. Such application shall be accompanied by the payment of the license fee. If the application is not approved by the board, the applicant shall be refunded the license fee. If the application sufficiently contains the information required pursuant to this chapter, the applicant shall be examined by the board at its next meeting using a uniform written examination prescribed by the board. The board shall administer an oral examination to applicants who are unable to take the written examination. In addition, the board, in examining such applicant, shall consider the following:
(b) Complaints; and
(c) Other pertinent information the board may require.
If, as a result of the examination, the board finds that the applicant is qualified to engage in residential construction or residential improvement in Mississippi, the applicant shall be issued a license. If the board denies the issuance of a license to any applicant, the license fee shall be returned by the board to the applicant. Any applicant rejected by the board shall be given the opportunity to be reexamined at the next regularly scheduled examination date after a new application has been filed and the license fee has again been paid.
The board shall make and preserve a record of each examination of an applicant and the findings of the board pertaining to such examination. A certified copy of such record, omitting confidential test questions, shall be furnished to the applicant so requesting such record upon the payment of a fee to the board that reasonably reflects the cost of furnishing such record to the applicant.
Each application or filing made under this section shall include the Social Security number(s) of the applicant in accordance with Section 93-11-64, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 3. Section 73-59-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-59-11. (1) The board shall have the following additional duties for the purposes of this chapter:
(a) To conduct thorough investigations of all applicants seeking a license or licensees seeking renewal of their licenses and of all complaints filed with the board concerning the performance of a residential builder.
(b) To obtain information concerning the responsibility of any applicant for a license or of a licensee. Such information may be obtained by investigation, by hearings, or by any other reasonable and lawful means. The board shall keep such information appropriately filed.
(c) To maintain a list of residential builders and remodelers to whom licenses are issued, refused, revoked or suspended, which list shall be available to any interested person.
(d) To prepare annually a complete roster that shows all the names and places of business of the residential builders and remodelers licensed by the board during the preceding year and to forward a copy of the roster to each municipality and county in the state and to file the roster with the Secretary of State.
(e) To take disciplinary actions pursuant to the provisions of Section 73-59-13.
(f) To adopt rules and regulations governing disciplinary actions and the conduct of its hearings and to adopt such other rules and regulations as the board finds necessary for the proper administration of this chapter.
(2) The board shall notify all licensees and persons identified as needing licensing under this chapter of the provisions of House Bill No. 1894, 1998 Regular Session, immediately upon its passage. The board shall publish notice of the period of time prescribed in Section 73-59-3(3) at least three (3) times in a newspaper with statewide circulation. The board shall provide notice by certified letter to all persons needing licensing sixty (60) days before the period of time described in Section 73-59-3(3) expires and again thirty (30) days before such expiration. The notice shall provide all the information required for any person to be licensed under this chapter.
SECTION 4. Section 73-59-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-59-15. (1) This chapter shall not apply to:
(a) Agricultural buildings, buildings used for agricultural purposes, buildings constructed as a community effort, or tenant houses;
(b) Any person who undertakes construction or improvement on his own residence or on his other real estate holdings, or who acts as his own general contractor in the performance of construction or improvement on his own residence or on his other real estate holdings, or who acts under the supervision of the owner-occupant who is the general contractor;
(c) Any person who undertakes residential construction or improvement, or who acts as a general contractor in the performance of residential construction or improvement, or who acts under supervision of the owner-occupant with respect to residential construction or improvement, when the owner of such construction or improvement is related to such person by consanguinity or direct affinity;
(d) The owners of property who supervise, superintend, oversee, direct or in any manner assume charge of the construction, alteration, repair, improvement, movement, demolition, putting up, tearing down, or maintenance of any building, railroad, excavation, project, development, improvement, plant facility or any other construction undertaking on such property for use by such owner and which will not be for sale, rent, public use or public assembly;
(e) An employee of a licensed residential builder;
(f) A contractor holding a valid license or certificate of responsibility for general construction from the board;
(g) Any nonresident contractor holding a valid license or certificate of responsibility for general construction;
(h) Any person who constructs two (2) single residences or less within a period of one (1) year in any county or municipality which does not require a building permit or any local certification for such construction.
(2) A person specified in subsection (1)(b) shall not make more than two (2) applications for a permit to construct a single residence or shall not construct more than two (2) single residences within a period of one (1) year. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that such person intends to construct for the purpose of resale, lease, rent or any similar purpose if more than two (2) applications are made for a permit to construct a single residence or if more than two (2) single residences are constructed within a period of one (1) year.
(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to builders and remodelers who are not domiciled in the State of Mississippi. Builders and remodelers who are not domiciled in the State of Mississippi are not required to be licensed under the provisions of this chapter if the state in which they are domiciled requires licensing and the licensing state's requirements are at least the equivalent of those requirements provided in this chapter.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.