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I may not be very bright, but at least I have opinions . . . So . . . Now that Arnold is governor of "Caleeforneea" and promises to make things better for business, hopefully he will take a hard and fast look at the workers' comp. situation in the state. With CA being at the high end of the national average, and with change in the wind across the nation, a strong move by the Terminator may signal a move to reform. One thing that good ol' Gray Davis did before he was swept under the rug was sign a bill giving a reprieve to licensed LCs who let their licenses lapse. According to the previous state law, if the licensed lapsed the client didn't have to pay the unlicensed contractor . . . Now there is a "substantial compliance" provision that in effect allows a grace period for the nonhabitually license- lapsing contractor. While the CLCA supports the bill, it just gives the consumer another reason to diminish the reputation of landscape contractors. In effect, if you are too flaky to keep your license current, who cares? . . . Just prove that you are mostly in compliance and you still get the backing of the court. I think I will mostly pay my taxes next year. When the IRS comes to complain, I will site the new contractor law and tell them that I am mostly in compliance . . In a world where contractors are constantly fighting for a good reputation this law only makes it harder to gain respect as a legitimate businessman. The next thing you know, the state will be giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants . . While I understand the need for low-cost labor, the illegal immigrant issue will always be a battle that needs to be monitored . . . I believe that many immigrants are trying their best to better their lives, but it would be better to develop easier access to temporary work permits than to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. Landscape contractors who hire workers without checking their work status will be coming under greater scrutiny in the years ahead. The Immigration and Nationality Act makes it a federal felony to encourage or assist an illegal alien in his quest to work and reside in the U.S. Marin County in Northern California has begun video taping day labor sites and sending the videos to the INS. The ANLA is working to reform the immigration laws to help meet the growing demand and alleviate the lessening supply of migrant ag and horticultural workers. Recent bills have been introduced making it easier on the employer to deal with the mounds of paperwork required for hiring migrant workers and giving the worker a better chance to apply for permanent residency. These acts encourage the migration of workers and do so by allowing the worker to stay legitimate. But for those who circumvent the laws and hire just because the labor is cheap are doing a disservice to the country and to the landscape construction business. Sometimes it is more difficult to do the right thing, but it is always the better solution. Making it easier on the disorganized licensee or subverting the system to hire cheap labor are both examples that lower the hard earned reputations of legitimate landscape contractors . . . This industry needs to look for new laws that make sense and open markets, not ones that allow the flakes to be more flaky . . . Like I said . . . they are only my opinions. God Bless . . .

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June 16, 2019, 10:25 pm PDT

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