SENATE BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

[First Reprint]

 

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

ASSEMBLY, No. 224

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  december 4, 2017

 

      The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 224 (ACS/1R), with committee amendments.

      As amended, this bill provides for the licensing of pool and spa service contractors and pool and spa builders and installers.  The bill also establishes a Pool and Spa Service Contractors and Pool and Spa Builders and Installers Advisory Committee in the Department of Law and Public Safety, under the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors.  The advisory committee is to consist of seven members who are residents of this State as follows: two members who hold a Certified Service Professional credential and two members who hold a Certified Builder Professional credential, as issued by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, or equivalent certification; one member who is a licensed plumbing inspector employed by a municipality; one member who is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO; and one public member.

      To be eligible for licensure as a pool and spa service contractor, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and be of good moral character. In addition, the applicant must meet qualifications established by the board, in consultation with the advisory committee, regarding experience, continuing education, financial responsibility and integrity, and establish qualifications to perform and supervise various phases of pool and spa service contracting as evidenced by successful completion of, and having earned, one of the following: an Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) certification as a Certified Service Professional (CSP), an APSP certification as a Certified Service Technician (CST), or an APSP certification as a Certified Building Professional (CBP), or for those persons who only service and maintain portable spas, an APSP certification as a Certified Hot Tub Technician (CHTT), or any other certification acceptable to the board in consultation with the advisory committee.

      To be eligible for licensure as a pool and spa builder and installer, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and be of good moral character.  In addition, the applicant must meet qualifications established by the board, in consultation with the advisory committee regarding experience, continuing education, financial responsibility and integrity and establish qualifications to perform and supervise various phases of pool and spa building and installation as evidenced by successful completion of, and having earned, certification as a Certified Builder Professional (CBP) from the APSP or such other certification acceptable to the board in consultation with the advisory committee.

      The provisions of this bill do not apply to: electrical contractors regulated by the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors pursuant to P.L.1962, c.162 (C.45:5A-1 et seq.) and persons in their employ while working on the electrical components of a swimming pool; plumbing contractors regulated by the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers pursuant to P.L.1968, c.362 (C.45:14C-1 et seq.) and persons in their employ while working on the plumbing components of a swimming pool; or HVACR contractors regulated by the State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors pursuant to P.L.2007, c.211 (C.45:16A-1 et seq.) and persons in their employ while working on the heating components of a swimming pool.  It is not the intention of the bill to authorize a person who engages in licensed pool and spa service contracting or licensed pool and spa building and installation to perform the work of electrical contractors, plumbing contractors, or HVACR contractors, as the case may be, unless licensed to perform that work pursuant to P.L.1962, c.162 (C.45:5A-1 et seq.), P.L.1968, c.362 (C.45:14C-1 et seq.), or P.L.2007, c.211 (C.45:16A-1 et seq.).

      The bill stipulates that no person shall advertise that he is authorized to engage in, or engage in pool and spa service contracting or pool and spa building and installation unless the person satisfies the requirements of this bill.

      Pool and spa building and installation licenses and pool and spa service contracting licenses shall be issued to qualified applicants for a three-year period, upon payment of a licensing fee. License renewals shall be issued for a three-year period upon the payment of a renewal fee.

      In addition, the bill requires every licensed pool and spa service contractor and every pool and spa builder and installer and every employee or other person engaged in the unsupervised building, servicing, or maintenance of a pool to, at all times during working hours, display an identification card issued by the board.  The identification card shall contain the following information: the name, photograph and signature of the person to whom the card has been issued; the business name and address and license number of the licensee; the expiration date of the card; and any other information the board deems appropriate for identification purposes.

      Furthermore, the bill stipulates that no person shall be employed by a licensed pool and spa service contractor or a pool and spa builder and installer, to build, install, or service a pool or, except in the case of a licensee, shall otherwise engage in the building, installation, or service thereof:

      (1)  unless the person is of good moral character;

      (2)  where the work is to be performed other than under the field supervision of a licensee, the person shall have at least three years of practical experience and shown proof of successful completion of and having received the APSP Certified Maintenance Specialist (CMS) certification, or higher, or equivalent certification as prescribed by the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors, in consultation with the advisory committee; and

      (3)  where the work to be performed is limited to cleaning of pool equipment and components, pool vacuuming, sanitation of water, and backwash filtration, the licensee is responsible for training that person in basic pool safety and maintenance as prescribed by the board, in consultation with the advisory committee.

      This bill takes effect on the 180th day following enactment, except that the prohibition on advertising by providers of pool and spa service contracting or pool and spa building and installation without first complying with the bill is delayed for 360 days following the appointment and qualification of the advisory committee members.

      As amended and reported, this bill is identical to Senate Bill No. 1922 (1R), as also amended and reported by the committee.

 

COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS:

     The committee amendments provide that the definition of “pool and spa building and installation” does not include the startup or commissioning of oil, gas, propane or heat pump pool heaters located outside or inside of a structure.  The committee amendments also provide that the definition of “pool and spa service contracting” includes the service, repair or maintenance of the heating components of spa heaters contained inside of a self-contained spa, electric immersion heaters, and solar pool heaters.  The amendments clarify that swimming pool service and repair work does not include the service repair, and maintenance of any oil, natural or manufactured gas burning heater’s combustion components, heater controls, or combustion safety components.  The amendments provide that the provisions of the bill do not apply to plumbing contractors while working on the plumbing components of a swimming pool, including the installation of heating circuits connected to building space heating boilers or geothermal heat pumps.  The amendments similarly provide that the provisions of the bill do not apply to HVACR contractors while working on the heating components of a swimming pool, including the startup and commissioning of oil, gas, or propane-fired pool heaters, and heat pump pool heaters, and the installation of heating circuits connected to building space heating boilers or geothermal heat pumps.  The amendments also extend to all pool and spa service contractor businesses the 24 month period before required industry certifications need to be submitted to the board.  Before this amendment, this 24 month period was extended only to those showing proof that they have been in the business of pool and spa contracting or building for at least 10 years.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) estimates that this bill will increase annual State General Fund expenditures and revenues.  Although the OLS cannot project the magnitude of the increases, it expects their net effect on State finances to be largely offsetting.

      The Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors in the Department of Law and Public Safety will incur an indeterminate annual increase in operating expenditures associated with the registration and regulation of pool and spa service contractors and pool and spa builders and installers, including the minimal cost of establishing and operating the new seven-member Pool and Spa Service Contractors and Pool and Spa Builders and Installers Advisory Committee

      Additional annual State revenue will accrue from indeterminate fee payments for the new pool and spa service contractor and pool and spa builder and installer licenses, and indeterminate fine and penalty payments from violators of regulatory requirements applicable to the newly licenses professions.  The bill requires the board to set registration and renewal fees in amounts sufficient to offset the cost of regulation.