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March, 2024



It’s easy to overlook— and increasingly difficult to spot—seemingly minor news with major consequences. Often related to governance changes, proposals fly under the radar because they appear boring, wonky, or hyper-local. If they rise to the level of public discussion, they’re camouflaged with positive sound bites, masking unstated effects on people’s comfort, convenience, or pocketbooks. Meanwhile, unsuspecting homeowners assume their representatives or others in opposition will handle the issue or that the legislation or regulation will never pass, without fully realizing the vast power of legislative and bureaucratic maneuvering that often pushes changes through without a direct, up-or-down vote. The new law or ordinance gets approved, and they’re left to wonder, “How the heck did THAT happen?”


To shine a light on obscure dynamics, MasterWerks constantly reviews and filters information that may affect our clients. The goal of “Vantage Point” alerts is to raise awareness of pending issues and advance opportunities for you to make your voice heard when it counts. We believe everyone needs to think about new ideas and proposals—not only their immediate objectives and benefits but their longer-term consequences, both intended and unintended—and the net effects of those changes for ourselves and our communities.


You’ll also find Vantage Point alerts archived on this site, under the "VantagePoint" tab.

Regulatory Alert: Proposed Licensing Requirements for Minnesota Painters


New regulations in the building trade tend to fly under the public radar, but SF 3554, a proposed bill now working its way through the Minnesota State Legislature, should be catching people’s attention and sparking debate.


This bill would tightly regulate the sale and use of solvent-based paint materials—meaning nonwaterborne paint and paint thinners—and require those who use the products professionally to comply with strict licensing requirements. Under the bill’s provisions, non-professional/unlicensed painters would be allowed to purchase solvent-based paint materials sold in containers that are a gallon or less in volume and household spray paints dispensed from an aerosol can.


So, to parse this out, while you would still be able to paint your own bathroom or spray-paint a bike, the bill would prohibit small independent painters, whether they’re professionals or DIYers—think your handyman, the college kid down the block, the retiree who’d like to make some extra cash, or a mom-and-pop business—from painting for hire without a license or registration. The new rules would establish a board/licensing authority and require a master union painter to perform or supervise all for-hire painting activities, overseeing painters who must then be classified as “employees” instead of “independent contractors.”


The result would be much higher painting costs for relatively simple projects ranging from painting a fence to touching-up construction work. And realistically, the lack of painters with the correct credentials would also exacerbate current issues with labor shortages and over-extended project timelines.


MasterWerks suggests that you may want to think critically about how SF 3554 could affect you and your home projects, as well as its potential impact on the painting industry and the expanding regulatory landscape in general. This link will take you to the text of the bill:


Please consider contacting your state representatives with your thoughts, whether pro or con.

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