Better East Texas: Preserving licensing for plumbers

Better East Texas: Preserving licensing for plumbers

East Texas (KLTV) - The recently adjourned Texas Legislature typically has some ceremonial loose ends to tie up, and such is the case in 2019. Perhaps you have seen the news coverage of several significant new laws being signed by the governor including Sam’s Law creating “seizure-smart schools” by providing seizure recognition and response training for school employees.

We also saw the lemonade stand law that allows children to try their hand at capitalism without fear of being shut down. But another legislative cleanup need was the issue of the state needing to renew funding for the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, preserving the licensing regulations that have been in place requiring plumbers to be licensed.

Now, most industries would welcome a contraction in government regulations but in the case of the state’s 58,000 or so plumbers, they wanted the licensing restrictions to remain in place. It protects their industry and livelihood but it also protects homeowners from potentially falling victim to shoddy work from anyone that wanted to call themselves a plumber.

Many state agencies have a sunset review which mandates that lawmakers review the relevancy and need for some of these governing bodies and it was that provision that nearly doomed the Board of Plumbing Examiners. Thankfully, grassroots efforts by plumbers, media coverage and in-person appeals to lawmakers triggered action by the governor in the form of an executive order. The order retained funding until the next legislative session in 2021. So, our pipes are safe and nearly as important, the legislative process avoided a leaky mess, and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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