PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has applauded the state legislature's recent passage of a bill that increases penalties for licensed contractors who are convicted of failing to comply with Contractors' Registration and License Board (CRLB) orders.
The newly passed legislation, H7443/S2607, which was filed at Kilmartin's request, distinguishes penalties for licensed contractors who go against the CRLB orders and allows for penalties to be placed on contractors who operate without a license.
"The number one consumer complaint filed with our office is against contractors who do shoddy work, or worse, fail to do the work at all," Kilmartin said in a statement.
Prior to the new legislation, regardless of monies owed by the contractor, offenses were considered misdemeanors, usually giving the defendant one year to pay restitution. This resulted in the CRLB or the Attorney General's Office having no way to "stay the sentence pending full restitution," according to the Attorney General's Office.
"Until now, our hands – and the hands of the CRLB – were tied because there was no legal avenue to hold these bad contractors accountable once the criminal sentence expired," Kilmartin said. "This act gives our office and the CRLB much needed tools to protect homeowners and ensure that all contractors are playing by the rules. This is a great win for consumers."