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DeAngelo Bill Package Regarding HVACR Contractors Advances in Legislature

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo clarifying ownership of standards and training requirements of certain HVACR contactors was advanced by the General Assembly Thursday. “HVACR is an incredibly lucrative and necessary field, and these bills are designed to encourage people with a certain set of hands-on and entrepreneurial skills to get involved,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “We need talented individuals filling the skills gap we currently have, and I believe these bills will help remedy this.” The first bill (A-3703) revises the definition of “bona fide representative” in “The State Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contracting License Law” to mean a Master HVACR contractor who has not less than one percent ownership of the capital of a partnership, or not less than one percent ownership of any other firm or legal entity engaged in HVACR contracting in New Jersey. Under current law, in order to act as a Master HVACR contractor, an individual must be a bona fide representative of the legal licensed entity. This law would mean that if the Master HVACR contractor is a corporation, the bona fide representative owns stock equaling one percent interest, and, if there is more than one class of stock, the stock owned by the bona fide representative is the highest level stock with full voting rights. The bill passed by a vote of 68-3-2. The second bill (A-3704) clarifies the training requirements for qualification as a Master HVACR contractor under the same State HVACR law. Current law requires applicants for licensure as Master HVACR contractors to have at least five years of experience working in the HVACR contracting business, with at least four of the five years spent in an HVACR apprenticeship or other training program approved by the United States Department of Labor. This bill provides that the other training programs, in lieu of an HVACR apprenticeship, may include, but are not limited to, steamfitter, pipefitter, or sheet metal apprenticeship programs approved by the United States Department of Labor. This is relevant because plumbers and pipefitters are presently not certified for HVACR work immediately upon graduation from apprenticeship school, despite being trained specifically to construct and install HVACR systems such as ducts, pipe fitting and steam fitting. This bill would change that. The bill passed by a vote of 74-0-0. The bills were initially moved through the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee on June 11 and now await further action in the Senate.

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