By KXAN News
May 29, 2019, 3:44pm EDT
In September, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners will be abolished. This comes after state lawmakers left town without continuing the board through what’s known as the “sunset process,” an every-decade review and reform process of state agencies.
According to a statement from the state board Wednesday, “all requirements of the plumbing license law will cease to apply” in September as well. To change this, Governor Greg Abbott would need to call a special session, although he signaled at the end of the legislative session, that ended Monday, that would not happen.
Texas has about 58,000 licensed plumbers, the Texas Tribune reports.
For more, check out this story from our partners at KXAN News.
June 6, 2019 by Will Anderson – Managing Editor, Austin Business Journal
Since this year’s Texas Legislature ended without new life for the state agency that regulates plumbers, a variety of concerns have been raised, like fears that unqualified plumbers could soon be working on homes and offices.
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners was up for sunset review in 2019. State lawmakers did not pass a bill reauthorizing the board before the session ended May 27 — meaning the trade will be unlicensed come Sept. 1 unless Gov. Greg Abbott intervenes.
Because Abbott doesn’t seem inclined to recall lawmakers for a special session, many observes feared the worst. But Abbott is trying to reassure the public that something will be done, even without a special session.
“TEXAS PLUMBERS: We’ve got this,” Abbott tweeted June 4. “The Legislature has given the Governor many tools in my toolbox to extend the State Board of Plumbing Examiners for two years without needing to call a special session. We will let you know very soon. Don’t worry.”
As the Texas Tribune points out, it’s unclear exactly what powers Abbott is referring to. The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment from Austin Business Journal.The Tribune reported that at a June 4 bill-signing ceremony in Dallas, Abbott said his office was exploring “all possible options” and would announce something “later.”
An online petition asking Abbott to recall the Legislature had garnered more than 72,000 signatures by early June 4.
United to Save the Plumbing License, the group behind the petition, wrote that the end of the TSBPE would mean “there is no one holding plumbers liable for possible damages, no one to enforce and uphold the standards that keep the public safe, no one to oversee the health and safety of Texas communities,” It added: “This is more than leaky sinks and clogged toilets. This is a PUBLIC SAFETY CONCERN.”
Texas has about 58,000 licensed plumbers, according to a state sunset report. The TSBPE had 28 employees as of March and generated $2.7 million in revenue in 2017, according to the Tribune. Plumbing licenses in Texas can require serious time commitments. A journeyman plumber license requires 8,000 hours of work under a master plumber and 48 classroom hours, the Austin American-Statesman reported.