East Texas plumbers react to potential deregulation: ‘We can’t allow this to happen’

“We can’t allow this to happen,” one plumber said. “It’s going to be their health and welfare that’s affected.”

East Texas plumbers react to potential deregulation: 'We can’t allow this to happen'

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - East Texas plumbers are planning to head to Austin this month over possible deregulation of the plumbing industry.

State lawmakers recently failed to pass a bill that would extend the life of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. That means comes Sept. 1, anyone can do plumbing work without a license. Several local plumbers tells us they plan on protesting on the steps of the state capitol if something isn’t done.

“People are going to get sick if they just let everybody who wants to come and do plumbing at somebody’s house," Mark Grosvenor, C. Woods Company GM, said. “Things are going to happen. It’s got to be regulated.”

Right now, years of work goes into obtaining a plumbing license. In Texas, one must start as an apprentice and work their way through the level of journeyman before becoming a master plumber. There is also the option to obtain a tradesman plumber license in between journeyman and master.

“We can’t allow this to happen,” Grosvenor said. “It’s going to be their health and welfare that is affected.”

WEBXTRA: East Texas plumbers react to potential deregulation

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted assuring plumbers he is working on the issue. Abbott said he can extend the life of the agency for two years without a special session.

It’s still unclear exactly how that can be done. The governor said, “we will let you know very soon. Don’t worry.”

A Rally for the Future of Texas Plumbers is set for 11 a.m., June 14 on the south steps of the state capitol. Several East Texas plumbers tell us they plan on attending.

“It’s a little bit insulting,” Tyler plumber Sam Tabler said. “To think about devaluing everything we’ve worked so hard for. We’re just trying to use the income we make from this trade to raise our families and feed our children. And devaluing that would be real degrading to me personally.”

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