All public counters in California remain closed at this time.
SACRAMENTO – The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is announcing that seven of its eight test centers around California will reopen today Monday, June 15, 2020. Most of the centers will have expanded hours each day to accommodate an additional test session for applicants.
The test centers, located in Berkeley, Fresno, Norwalk, Oxnard, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Jose, closed on March 19, 2020 to help limit the spread of COVID-19. All test centers with exception of Berkeley will open next Monday.
CSLB staff have remained on-duty during the test center shutdown, processing license applications and assisting applicants in their efforts to prepare for their licensing exams. Most applicants must take and pass two exams for licensure. It is typical to have about 4,500 pending exams. While closed, the number of exams waiting to be taken grew to more than 9,000.
It will take some time to get these numbers down, as we will operate with reduced testing capacity to comply with physical distancing requirements. To make up for lost seats, CSLB has turned its Sacramento headquarters hearing room and a conference room at its Norwalk office into auxiliary test centers.
Even so, the number of tests CSLB will be able to administer each day will be 10% less than before the COVID-19 health emergency.
CSLB is taking special steps to make sure test centers are safe for both applicants and staff. They include disinfecting test stations after each candidate finishes their exams.
There are two important items of note for candidates:
Be sure to include your phone number and other relevant information, such as license number, application fee number, and any other information that will help staff provide you a thorough response.
To Reschedule a Cancelled Exam: Exams@cslb.ca.gov
Be sure to include your name and application number. Please note that CSLB is waiving the rescheduling fee for cancelled exams.
Attn: Contractors involved in resolving insurance claims.
During this unexpected and unpredictable pandemic, many insurance policyholders attempting to resolve claims with their insurance companies are also dealing with economic hardship and a lack of access to the California court system. Should you find yourself in this predicament, rest assured the California Department of Insurance (DOI) is addressing the situation head-on.
On April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council of California issued emergency rules governing the California court system during the COVID-19 pandemic. While not all of the emergency rules listed are applicable to claims settlements contractors might find themselves into, there are two that are specific to legal situations an insurance claim might encounter.
The California DOI was informed that some California insurers and other professionals active in the business of insurance claims are unfairly taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis by providing very low settlement offers, all while knowing that the need for claim payouts are high and that recourse to the civil court system within California is currently severely limited.
Taking all of this into account, let’s review parts of the California Unfair Practices Act so you know your protections and can take legal action if needed. The Act outlines several practices that constitute unfair methods of competition, deceptive acts or practices, including but not limited to:
Be advised, the Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara intends to exercise, to the full extent of his authority under the Unfair Claims Practices Act, all available administrative remedies including significant civil penalties against any persons in the California insurance industry who knowingly commits or perform any of the mentioned unfair claims settlement practices set forth in the Act.
Information courtesy of CCIS: https://www.ccisbonds.com/content/87-covid19-protection-for-policyholders-from-unfair-settlement-practices.htm
Earlier this week, San Francisco, in tandem with five other Bay Area counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara — announced extensions "through May" to their respective shelter-in-place orders.
SRBX has written a joint letter to each of the Bay Area Public Health Directors detailing the enhance safety protocols and CDC guidelines that construction sites are implementing and urged each county to align with state orders by recognizing all construction as “essential” and include all aspects of construction to their revised orders. Read letter here.
SMUD's commitment to not shutting off power for non-payment has been extended through May 30th. The link to all SMUD COVID responses can be found at:
Due to the current COVID-19 health crisis, OSHA has granted permission for certain OSHA numbered classes to be presented via a pilot study using a live, online video-based delivery system. SRBX’s partners with the OSHA Training Institute Education Center at Chabot-Las Positas are offering SRBX members a 50% discount on classes not at maximum enrollment.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Interest in PPP was very high and all funds were lent out by April 15, 2020. The addition of $320B is expected to pass the House of Representatives on 4/23, with President Trump expected to sign into law shortly thereafter. The specific availability date of funds with authorized lenders is not yet known.
Interested small businesses should visit the SBA PPP website or speak with their banking institution for more information on program requirements.
The funding capacity for The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) have both been reached as of April 15. Applications have been closed.
Congress is currently working on an additional stimulus package to increase the capacity of both the PPP and EIDL programs and the hope is that they can resolve their issues and come to an agreement to continue both programs.
SRBX continues to advocate to our regional Congressional representatives for additional stimulus funds.