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Changes to Public Works Registration Requirements

| Tags: , , | Infrastructure, Innovation, And Investment

Changes to Public Works Registration Requirements

Governor Brown signed SB 96 on June 27, which is intended to revamp the public works contractor registration program used by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) to oversee compliance with public works laws, including payment of prevailing wage. As a trailer bill to the State Budget Act, SB 96 will take effect immediately.

While SB 96 did not change the law requiring payment of prevailing wages on all public works projects exceeding $1,000, it did raise the threshold requiring agencies to use DIR registered contractors. SB 854 of 2014 required local agencies to hire DIR registered contractors on all projects over $1,000. SB 96, now exempts projects under $25,000, or under $15,000 for maintenance projects, from the requirements of the registration program.

In addition to the new “carrots”, SB 96 included some “sticks”. Under the new law, public agencies could face up to a $10,000 fine for using unregistered contractors when required. The bill also raises the fee for contractors to register, from $300 to $400.

The Labor Commissioner will have the authority to waive fines for an unintentional first time violation and it allows public agencies to withhold final payment to a contractor for 30 days until the contractor submits all information required to verify registration.

CSDA is hosting a webinar with public works attorney Deborah Wilder to discuss the changes enacted in SB 96 and how your district can maintain compliance.  The webinar takes place Wednesday, July 26 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Registration opens July 11; stay tuned to that day’s e-News article for the direct link or visit

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