AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott promised action Tuesday after a statewide furor was created over the looming closure of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.
The state agency that is the licensing body for plumbers would have been abolished in September because state lawmakers failed to continue the board through the “sunset process,” which reviews and reforms the agency. A bill that would have transferred the board to the Texas Department of Licensing Regulation also failed to pass.
If the agency was allowed to become defunct, anyone could call themselves a plumber and legally work in Texas without any licensing. The state would also not accept new applications for Tradesman Plumber-Limited, Journeyman Plumber, Master Plumber or Plumbing Inspector exams.
A Texas plumbers’ group called “United To Save The Plumbing License” started a petition calling for Gov. Abbott to call a special session to rectify the situation and ensure the agency wouldn’t shut. As of 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the petition had gathered more than 73,000 signatures. The group also planned a rally at the State Capitol at 11 a.m. on June 14.
Tuesday, Gov. Abbott responded to the demands of the group on Twitter and wrote that while he won’t be calling a special session, he would still take action.
“TEXAS PLUMBERS: We’ve got this. 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,” he wrote. “We will let you know very soon. Don’t worry.”