Americans are getting their pools ready for summer. If you live in New Jersey, you might soon be breaking the law if you drain your pool without a license. New Jersey lawmakers will vote on a bill introduced last week by state senator James Beach that would license “pool and spa service contractors, and pool and spa builders and installers.”
The law provides that “no person shall advertise that he is authorized to engage in, or engage in pool and spa service contracting or pool and spa building and installation unless he satisfies the requirements of this act.”
Under the latest version of the bill, “servicing” includes “the draining, acid washing or backwash filtration of a pool or above-ground pool.” That’s right — a license to drain your pool.
The law also specifies that “an applicant seeking licensure to engage in pool and spa service contracting shall . . . be of good moral character.” It is unclear what problem will be solved by a law mandating that people who service pools have high morals.
What is the reason for this law? Have pool-service contractors caused so much harm that the state decided the only answer was mandatory licenses? Nope. As Reason’s Eric Boehm wrote in October:
No one is even bothering to pretend that it’s about anything other than driving up prices and limiting competition.
So give credit to Lawrence Caniglia for refusing to play those semantic games. Caniglia is the executive director of the Northeast Spa and Pool Association, which is pushing a bill in New Jersey to require a state license for anyone who installs, builds, or services a pool or spa.
“Frankly, we’re looking for a more professional industry — and you can raise the rates you’re charging because you’re . . . a (properly) licensed pool builder or service professional,” Caniglia told Pool and Spa News, a trade publication.
How interesting then, that the bill would establish a “Pool and Spa Service Contractors and Pool and Spa Builders and Installers Advisory Committee,” consisting of seven members, four of whom must belong to the Northeast Spa and Pool Association (NESPA).Read More