Hit & Run

Steven Greenhut: Hypocritical Contractors Behind Intrusive New Law

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California employers often complain about excessive regulations, unannounced visits to job sites by inspectors and large fines for small infractions, but the state's contracting industry successfully lobbied the legislature to pass a punitive bill to crack down on its lower-cost competition. Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that gives the Contractors State License Board broader power to investigate job sites, and imposes hefty new fines on disobedient handymen. Steven Greenhut writes that he understands the licensed contractors' frustration given how hard it is to compete with those who have a lower cost structure. But by lobbying for new rules on others rather than for less red tape for everyone, they have lost any right to seriously complain about any additional regulations future legislatures impose on them.