PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) — Legislation requested by Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin to hold unlicensed and bad contractors accountable recently went before the state House Committee on Judiciary.

Under the House bill, sponsored by Rep. Joseph J. Solomon, Jr. (D-Warwick), an applicant for any license or registration issued by the Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board (CRB) would need to undergo a national criminal records check.

A companion bill in the state Senate is sponsored by Sen. Frank Lombardo, III (D-Johnston).

"Providing a licensing and registration requirement of a national criminal records check helps to ensure the physical and financial safety of consumers using the services of contractors," Kilmartin said. "Due to the nature of the business relationship between consumers and contractors, these licensees have intimate access into consumers' property, and consumers must rely heavily on the assertions made by these licensees in contracting. It is in the best interest of Rhode Island consumers that the CRB be able to consider whether a potential licensee has had a conviction of serious physical violence, a financial crime or a property crime before granting a license or registration."

Additional legislation seeks to increase the penalties for failing to comply with a CRB final order.

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