House Bill 129 to enact a Commercial Roofing Licensing within the existing Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) structure passed in the Ohio House of Representatives. The bill passed by a wide bipartisan margin of 61-29.
Representative Tom Patton (R-17) sponsored this bill at the request of his constituents in the Ohio Roofing Contractors Association (ORCA). ORCA has worked for many years to establish a commercial roofing contractor license that mirrors the current Ohio licenses for Plumbing, HVAC, Electrical and Hydronics. Building on the momentum of last session, Representative Patton was able to move swiftly through the hearings process and presented a rousing floor speech that resulted in the bill's overwhelming passage in the House.
Other construction industry associations and the Mid-states District Council of Roofers spoke out in favor of the legislation. Roofers Local 44 Business Manager, Bill Franklin, stressed in his testimony that the bill is supported by both workers and employers. The roofing industry was joined by the Firefighters Association and Ohio Fire Chiefs Association in supporting this initiative. The firefighters advocated that this bill is a critical to, "enhance safety and strengthen protections for fire fighters that have to enter compromised buildings."
In his testimony on behalf of the bill, ORCA President, Fred Horner of Advanced Industrial Roofing emphasized that, "as a member of the NFIB, ABC and my local builders exchange, I would never work for any piece of legislation that would keep someone from starting and growing their own small business just like I did. I want true competitors. Competitors who pay their taxes, just like me. Competitors who pay their workers comp, just like me. Competitors who have insurance coverage and a basic understanding of the roofing codes."
ORCA supports the existing licensing structure in Ohio because it has proven to be an effective agency program for over twenty-five years with the other trades. The registration fees are low, the liability insurance requirements are very reasonable and there is a grandfathering period for all existing rooﬁng contractors to apply for the license. It also requires all subcontractors performing rooﬁng system work on the project to be licensed. The currently licensed industries have used the licensing enforcement provisions for decades to successfully reduce the misclassiﬁcation of workers as subcontractors.
The bill will now proceed to the Ohio Senate for consideration. The bill must pass by December 31, 2024 or the process will start over again in the 136th Ohio General Assembly.
For more information on the bill and full testimony from all interested parties, you can visit: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/135/hb129
To support the ORCA Commercial Roofing Licensing Initiative go to: www.ohioroofing.com
The Ohio Roofing Contractors Association (ORCA) represents hundreds of roofing contractors across Ohio. ORCA has a diverse membership of large and small, union and non-union contractors who perform all types of roofing in many different markets. ORCA is the only association in Ohio that is dedicated to the sole purpose of working for the roofing contractor by offering virtual and live education programs, timely news bulletins, networking with contractor services and product suppliers and industry advocacy.
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