May 26, 2023
AUGUSTA – Rep. Tiffany Roberts, D-South Berwick, introduced legislation Tuesday before the Legislature’s Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee that would protect Maine consumers by licensing residential contractors.
Maine already licenses plumbers, electricians, engineers, code enforcement officers and more but residential contractors have no licensing requirements.
“Maine law currently fails to adequately protect consumers from potential financial harm when they hire residential contractors,” said Roberts. “We have a reactive system that creates an unfair risk for consumers who are making significant investments. There are few protections in place to prevent a contractor from taking a homeowner’s money and not showing up to complete the job. Creating a licensing system will help provide peace of mind.”
LD 1929 would require residential contractors engaged in projects over $7,500 to be licensed. The license would include insurance and education requirements that many contractors already satisfy. Additionally, the bill would establish requirements for residential construction contracts and provide the Attorney General’s office with enforcement tools, such as license suspension and penalties for contractors who violate license requirements.
Maine is an outlier in its residential contractor licensing and registration laws. Currently, 35 states have some form of licensing or registration, while others have municipal licensing or registration requirements.
In testimony supporting LD 1929, Assistant Attorney General Christina Moylan stated that since Jan. 1, 2018, their office has received 3,327 complaints against home construction contractors.
The committee will schedule a work session on the bill for further consideration. Roberts is serving her third term representing House District 149, which includes portions of North and South Berwick. She serves as House chair of the Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee.
Brian Lee [Roberts], c. 305-965-2744