Watch CBS News

WCCO investigation inspires bill aiming to expand Contractor Recovery Fund in Minnesota

"High and dry" bill introduced to Minnesota legislation following swimming pool construction scandal
"High and dry" bill introduced to Minnesota legislation following swimming pool construction scandal 02:23

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A WCCO investigation has led to the introduction of the "high and dry" bill at the state capitol.

It was sparked by Minnesota families who paid a contractor for pools that were never built.

There's a state recovery fund for families who are out of money for a loss due to a contractor, but there's a gap in the law — a contractor with one specialty is exempt from paying into the fund.

READ MORE: Charles Workman, pool contractor accused of bilking Minnesota families, now federally charged with wire fraud

Thursday, Rep. Andrew Myers, R-Tonka Bay, introduced it on behalf of Rep. Jim Nash. R-Waconia.

"This is a large expense that people put, they invest, into their homes and having a way to recover if they're left high and dry is really important to address those hardships," Myers said.


The bill would expand the Contractor Recovery Fund to include private pools in the definition of residential property. That would make people eligible to access funds if there's a financial loss due to fraud or dishonest practices.

People who contacted WCCO after paying for a pool they never got testified at the hearing.

"I think as a state, we can do better for our consumers, for our homeowners," David Olson said. "And I think that anyone who is sacrificing or investing six-figures to improve their home should have some layer of protection."

RELATED: Families feeling some relief after AG works to collect funds for those who paid for, but never got swimming pools

"It seems like a miss so we're here just to speak from the victim's side to hopefully see if we can close that gap," Kyle Swenson said.

One committee member said he was okay with this update to the law, but asked where they draw the line.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.