Vancouver Business Journal

Thu10302014

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Study: $7 billion investment in state transportation would yield $42 billion in benefits

Study: $7 billion investment in state transportation would yield $42 billion in benefits

A healthy ROI awaits the state of Washington if its leaders are willing to make ...

Downtown Vancouver cocktail bar readies for opening

Downtown Vancouver cocktail bar readies for opening

The owners of Grocery Cocktail and Social, a new cocktail bar/restaurant located...

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

25 years ago, Washington State University opened its Vancouver branch on the Cla...

Maruichi Northwest to invest $30 million in port steel mill

Maruichi Northwest to invest $30 million in port steel mill

A new steel mill is coming to the Port of Vancouver USA’s Centennial Industrial ...

Tidland Corporate Center sold for $3.3 million

Tidland Corporate Center sold for $3.3 million

Tidland Corporate Center, a 64,000-square-foot industrial building and 6.03-acre...

Introducing the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014

Introducing the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014

The Vancouver Business Journal is pleased to announce the Accomplished and Under...

Education & Workforce Development

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

25 years ago, Washington State University opened its Vancouver branch on the Clark College campus. From the very beginning, the university has been closely tied to Clark County’s business community, and those partnerships have grown even stronger over the last quarter-century.

WSU-Vancouver Chancellor Emile “Mel” Netzhammer joined the campus in July 2012, and has glowing praise for the relationsh...

Food & Agriculture

County, wine industry approaching smoother waters

County, wine industry approaching smoother waters

A learning experience. That is how both vineyard/winery owners and county officials seem to view the past few years, as they sought solutions that would encourage the development of wineries in the county while mitigating impacts to neighboring parcels. And, like many learning experiences, it was sometimes fraught with mistakes, misunderstandings and frustration. But Marty Snell, Clark County comm...

News Briefs

New Spaces: Fuel Medical's new Camas headquarters

Last Monday, Fuel Medical held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of their new company headquarters in downtown Camas. We stopped by to see what the medical management company’s new space has to offer. 

Spotlight

ExecuTech Lease Group: Putting the personal touch into equipment leasing

ExecuTech Lease Group: Putting the personal touch into equipment leasing

Many restaurants and small businesses use a cash register and a separate terminal to handle sales, while another PC handles timecards and inventory management. But as the business grows, so does the need for a full-scale point of sale (POS) system. Such a system in a restaurant, for example, integrates everything from placing an order to a credit card swipe into one piece of equipment. But this ty...

Legislature tackles construction’s ‘underground economy’

In 2007, the Washington Legislature created a task force to help formulate state policy addressing the so-called “underground economy” of the construction industry. The Legislature sought to increase oversight of the construction industry to ensure unlicensed contractors are held accountable for failure to comply with state registration requirements.

In 2007, the Washington Legislature created a task force to help formulate state policy addressing the so-called “underground economy” of the construction industry. The Legislature sought to increase oversight of the construction industry to ensure unlicensed contractors are held accountable for failure to comply with state registration requirements.

After just one year in existence, the task force proposed a number of measures to crack down on unregistered contractors – most of which were enacted into law on March 21, 2008.

What’s new

Among the more interesting provisions of the new law is the requirement that the Department of Labor and Industries create an expanded social marketing campaign aimed at warning consumers of the risks and potential consequences of hiring unregistered contractors. This campaign will likely include an increase in public service announcements focused on encouraging the public and properly registered contractors to report suspected fraud.

In addition, the law now requires contractors applying for registration to submit a unified business identifier number. If no UBI number is provided, L&I must deny the application. A related requirement obligates the department to suspend a contractor’s registration if it discovers that a currently registered contractor does not have an active certificate of registration with the Department of Revenue.

Finally, a contractor’s registration will be suspended if it falsifies information on its registration application.

Consequences of noncompliance

Contractors who violate these new provisions – along with requirements delineated under the prior law – can be subjected to some tough penalties. One of the more serious consequences prohibits a contractor from bidding on any public works project in Washington for a year if he or she commits two violations of any of the following within a five-year period: willfully violating contractor registration laws, knowingly misrepresenting payroll or employee hours to L&I, failing to maintain certificate of coverage under industrial insurance requirements, or violating the contractor registration laws.

In addition, any contractor who submits false information in a registration application can be subjected to penalties up to $10,000.

More enforcement on the horizon

When Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law in March, she also vetoed a number of provisions that would have provided additional funding for enforcement activities. The original bill would have required both L&I and the Employment Security Department to hire more staff for enforcement of these provisions. Additionally, funding would have been dedicated to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecuting contractor compliance cases.

While these funding provisions were removed from the bill, the governor’s comments on the veto include direction to L&I to hire additional investigative staff in its fraud and audit team so that the law may be appropriately implemented.

In addition, the task force will meet until the end of 2008 in order to provide further recommendations to the Legislature in upcoming sessions.

All told, these new laws should be helpful to those contractors who are properly registered. By providing tools to both L&I and ESD to crack down on the “underground economy,” the Legislature assists all of the above-board contractors in securing additional work and reducing the number of unregistered contractors competing for that business.

 

Kelly Walsh is an attorney in the Vancouver office of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. She can be reached at 360-905-1432 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Opinion

Focus Column

Local restaurants master recipe for good health

Local restaurants master recipe for good health

Six local restaurants are discovering that good health is good business.

Dragonfly Café, Farrar’s Bistro, Mighty Bowl, ...

Revival of cooperatives

Revival of cooperatives

Agricultural cooperatives are a quiet but massive force in our national economy, producing nearly $4 billion annually an...

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