Originally created 03/16/04

Bill passes House, moves to Senate

ATLANTA - Home builders and general contractors would have to be licensed in Georgia under a bill passed overwhelmingly by the House on Monday.

The legislation, which was approved 138-4, now goes to the Senate.

Requiring builders and contractors to obtain licenses would ensure that businesses doing such work are both honest and experienced enough to do a good job, said Rep. Mike Boggs, D-Waycross, one of the bill's co-sponsors.

The legislation would exempt certain types of workers or building projects from the licensing requirement. Those exemptions would include "handymen" who do less than $2,500 of work on a project, "do-it-yourselfers" doing minor work on their own homes, specialty contractors such as painters, and agricultural projects such as barns.

The bill would create a new licensing board under the secretary of state's office, which would enforce the standards for builders and contractors set by the measure.

As a result, the measure wouldn't take effect until the General Assembly comes up with the money to pay for the new board.

Augusta-area lawmakers voted against the bill, preferring not to upstage a Columbia County ordinance that has fewer exemptions on which projects would be covered.

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