Plumbers rejoice: Gov. Abbott takes action to keep oversight intact


AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order allowing the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners to operate through May 2021. 

This legislative session, lawmakers wrapped up without continuing the board through the sunset process, which evaluates whether an agency’s functions are needed and what areas it can improve on. Legislators also didn’t pass a bill to transfer the board to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. This would’ve meant an end to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners this September. 

A Texas’ plumbers’ group called “United To Save The Plumbing License” began petitioning for the Governor to call for a special session to figure out this situation. 

However, Abbott used a section in the Texas Government Code that allows him to “suspend provisions of regulatory statutes prescribing the procedures for the conduct of state business if strict compliance would any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with a disaster,” according to a release from his office. 

“To fulfill the demands for rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey and keeping Texas prepared and able to recover from future disasters, it is necessary to continue the Board to perform its indispensable role in protecting Texans,” the release states. 

Alicia Dover, executive director of the Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors Association of Texas, said this will help maintain the plumbing certifications and licenses necessary to preserve the health, safety and well-being of all Texans. 

“Appropriate licensing and oversight of Texas plumbers is valued by the responsible individuals who comprise our industry and is relied upon by the Texans that utilize their services,” Dover said in a statement. “From providing peace of mind to families in their homes to ensuring safety in our schools, hospitals and businesses, the role of the plumber is central to the core of our daily lives.” 

Dover also said the group looks forward to working with legislators and state leaders during the interim to address important issues in the industry as part of the sunset process. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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