Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dutchess County Passes Electrical Licensing Law

Dutchess County residents can finally breathe deep. Anyone installing electrical work in customers homes or businesses will be required to actually prove that they are qualified as an electrician and to obtain an electrical license.

The Legislature voted 17-8 Monday night to approve a law that would require electricians who do business in Dutchess County to carry a Master Electricians license. The Legislature has a veto-proof majority of 17 votes.

The cities of Kingston, Beacon and Poughkeepsie, the counties of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Greene, Sullivan, Orange, Rockland and the states of Connecticut, Massechusetts and New Jersey all require licensing for electricians.

Law co-sponsor Legislator William McCabe, D-Union Vale, said that in the past, Dutchess County Executive William Steinhaus has opposed the electrical licensing law. However, most people believe that to be a purely political decision of his, having nothing to do with the actual law. The licensing law was just a convenient political football.

The law says applicants must have seven years of experience and pay a $350 fee, as well as other fees. The Electrical Licensing Board, which grants licenses, can make exceptions if an applicant fits the requirements. These are the same requirements that are found in every other locale requiring an Electrical License, including the City of Poughkeepsie.

Proponents say the law protects the consumer and deals with a public safety issue — First, it gives a consumer who receives a shoddy installation a remedy and a place to lodge a complaint and get action and will help minimize the occurrences of fires caused by faulty wiring.


Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised at all that Ulster County does not require this.

Ulster County Legislators would rather spend their time fighting over a law that would serve the political whims of people trying to oust people from positions, rather than something that would protect taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that there isn't a license required already! I had no idea that there wasn't one. To actually have to debate the need to make sure electricians know what they are doing is pardon my expression, shocking.

Anonymous said...

just shows that Ulster County is always last in everything. We are always a day late.

Anonymous said...

I notice the Patricia Doxsey of the Freeman Staff always refers to the electrical licensing law as the "controversial" law. I don't know if that has a hidden message in it or not but what is so GD "controversial" about making sure an electrician can't burn your freakin house or business down??

Anonymous said...

Even the City of Kingston has a licensing law, and i thought no community was further behind than Kingston. Ulster County should folloe Kingston and require a licensed Electrician to do the work.

Anonymous said...

I do not feel safe buying a house in Ulster County knowing that anyone with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver can hook up electric.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's why business's are leaving Ulster County.

bullhorner said...

now, now.....we are working on a strict no smoking law at the moment aren't we?? that is really progressive and a top priority.

Anonymous said...

I am confussed. As a home owner, if I get a building permit and do wiring, I have to have an electrical inspector sign off for my work before I can close up the walls. Electrians get more leeway than private a person does. The same goes for plumbing. All you are doing is raising the cost of hiring a professional to do the job. You are still going to have people with screw drivers and a lineman pliers twisting wires without a permit. Even if they are on a list, that does not gave you any insurance or remendy. There are people who always have influence over these independent boards, since they are relatives or friends of the industry.

bullhorner said...

Let me unconfuse you and answer your 3 main points.
1) you say it will increase costs 2) It doesn't provide insurance 3) it doesn't provide a remedy.

I have good news for you! A license answers each of those issues and more!
1) To have a license - you MUST have and MAINTAIN proper insurance. (good)
2) To have a license - you MUST prove that you know what you are doing and actually pass a test.
3)To have a license - you MUST install safely and practice good business - in order to keep that license. (there is your remedy )
4) There is nearly zero additional cost to the customer for a $250 per year license fee ( that is only 68 CENTS A DAY - split amongst each days customers.) Hardly a cost at all - even to the contractor himself.

If I had a "gong", you and you your negative license comments would be shuffling off the stage right about now.

I hope this clears things up for you. If not, you must have another agenda huh?

bullhorner said...

On a nicer note to you however, most licenses also allow the homeowner to do work on their own home that they LIVE IN and OWN. SO - It seems that the license actaully does EVERYTHING you want.

Anonymous said...

Problem is the $350 (NOT $250) PER YEAR fee is exorbitant. To say it is in line with other local communities is a flat out LIE. Green and Kingston for instance are both $100 per year. Hardly in line with $350. And to say it is "only $.68 per day is also misleading. It is that coupled with all the other fees and licenses we are required to carry.
I guess we are supposed to fell relived that they lowered it from $500!

I am all for licensing, but not at the typical over priced rates that Dutchess county is know for.

Also the requirements are certainly NOT the same as every other locale.

I firmly believe that the high cost and steep requirements are an attempt to keep "non-local" electricians out of Dutchess County.

Anonymous said...

And to the person who commented about Patricia Doxsey's "controversial" statement, EC&M web site and magazine also made the same comments.
Much as I don't like the Freeman, I see no "hidden messages" here.

bullhorner said...

oh ok....well lets see $350 means 96 cents a day split between the customers of that particular day. Big difference huh? You should start studying the electrical code because obviously you are one who will not be able to pass the test....that is your true problem. Maybe you should take up knitting.

Anonymous said...

Your arrogant and biased comments are not helping your stance one bit.

You are so intelligent that you could surmise my code abilities from those two posts?? Even though I made no code references?
You must belong to MENSA.

Stick to the facts and drop the insults.

True, $.96 a day. What about those of us who might only do the occasional job in Dutchess? Is it still worth it to hold a $350 license.

Most would just say "Nah, it's not worth it. Let the local boys have the work."

Well, the makers of these new requirements just got their way. A good old boy society that doesn't like outsiders hanging around.

And bully, you'd be surprised how well I know the code.
Taking the test is not a concern to me.

bullhorner said...

So why would a smart guy like you advocate for those who can't cut it? This is electricity, not wall papering.

A REAL QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN would have no problem with making everyone who works in the trade prove they are knowledgeable As for arrogant, you called me out and I exposed you and your phony excuses. Don't like that, go read something else. By the way, the white one is the nuetral wire and the green is the ground.

Anonymous said...

YOU sir need to NOT take this so personal.
I did NOT "call you out". You'd know if I did.

If you could read you would see where I DID say I was all for licensing. I wish Ulster County would adopt a county wide license, IF the fees and requirements were actually and truly in line with the other local areas, such as Greene, Kingston and Saugerties.

Once again, your arrogance is preventing you from seeing an opinion for what it really is, just an opinion. You take it personal and attack someone for simply stating such opinion.

You juvenile comments are not flattering to this site and your blog.

This new licensing requirement has an obvious bias towards union members and shop owners.
I read about a grandfather clause for folks with ten years or more verifiable experience. If this is true that would be one of the only balanced things I have seen come out of this so far.

Think you can continue this without the stupid remarks and persona attacks? Let's try, shall we?

bullhorner said...

OK so if the fee is lower, you support the license? Because the fee is the most unimportant component of the law. Having the law is the issue.

Anonymous said...

It's the fee and other requirements I have been reading about. Like I said, in my opinion, it is a transparent attempt to keep outsiders away.

To say having the law is the most important thing is fine, but the fine points of the law are even more important. What good is a law that is biased or unfair? Obviously it is only good to a small number of special interest people.

I am VERY curious to see what the final details are. Like I said, if this 10 year experience option is true then that would make things quite different.

I had previously read that they were wanting to require 7 years "apprenticeship", with no other options. Where else is one supposed to get this without being in the union? Now the real details are showing and they are changing.

Also like I said, they did already drop the fee from the earlier $500 to $350. Maybe they are getting the message.

bullhorner said...

established electrical contractors will be grandfathered in, union or non union. The rest can always take the test which by the way will be with an open code book. As an electrician you know that half of the code is looking it up. If you can do that and have knowledge of the business it should be a breeze.

Dutchess County Electrician said...

This is great for experienced, licensed electricians and our customers.

hudsonvalleyelectrician said...

I am one of those contractors that has been in business for over 11 1/2 years does anyone know yet what were going to be asked to provide to prove the years in business. So far I have gotten letters from my accountant and my liability insurance agent both going back between 12 to 15 years.

I am not that great of a test taker but have been in business far too long passing all my inspections to now be put out of business by a new license law.

Since it passed I haven't been able to find out much about the current status of the whole license issue. If anyone knows any current info please post it, especially as it applies to the Grandfather provision.


Anonymous said...

My father and my husband are both electricians. We believe in licensing. I hear lots of horror stories about them repairing others mistakes, fire hazards, and post fire repairs. And they always start out “They had their carpenter (or someone who was not an electrician) do the work”. The only complaint about licensing is the cost. Both my husband and father will do electrical work within a 60 mile radius from their home base. That covers a lot of different licensing areas and all those fees add up. I don’t see why there can’t be ONE license for the whole state. To date 44 states regulate licensing at the state level. Why can’t New York?

Anonymous said...

That is good just for several old farts. Why require 10 years exp.? Most people are not mentally disabled and can learn at a much faster pace.

Anonymous said...

this is all about money,power, and control.westchester county used to have a 5 year exp. to qualify for taking the electrical exam.they jumped it up to about 11 years exp. to keep people from getting a license because there are to many people doing electrical work in westchester.the licencing board doesn't like competition,they want to keep prices up.most states in the us have a 4 year exp. to take the to the people in dutchess county,welcome to higher prices,and by the way, the guy comming to your house to do the work,can it be a helper for the company,or does he actually have to havve a license?

Anonymous said...

So what does an electrician who has been working without a license for 10 years do in order to GET a license??? I have been trying to research it but finding no information. I would really rather not go back to school since I have already been working for this long and must say have much knowledge and experience in the trade. Can someone please tell me what steps I need to take in order to get licensed?