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TEXAS SUNSET COMMISSION
re: Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
Governor Abbott gives TSBPE two more years!
June 13, 2019
Statement by Alicia Dover, Executive Director of the Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors Association of Texas, regarding announcement by Gov. Abbott on a solution to maintain state oversight of plumbing licensure in Texas.
“PHCC is grateful to Governor Abbott for an Executive Order issued today extending the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners until 2021. This option maintains the plumbing certifications and licenses necessary to preserve the health, safety and well-being of all Texans.
Maintaining these certifications and licenses will continue to be the top priority of our organization. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Governor’s office on this important announcement and hopeful resolution.
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. 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.
Plumbers speak to hundreds of thousands of Texans every day and overwhelmingly, we are hearing that the public feels strongly about maintaining uniform licensure across the state.
We applaud Gov. Abbott’s leadership in recognizing the seriousness of this situation.
We are committed to working with Gov. Abbott and legislators to ensure that uniform plumbing standards and enforcement remains in place.
We look forward to working with our state leaders during the interim to address important industry issues that will be discussed as part of the Sunset process.”
Click here to read the full order and statement by the Governor:
June 7, 2019 Governor Greg Abbott sent a Twitter message on Tuesday the 4th that he would help the plumbers in Texas. What that means exactly, and how it will affect our industry licensing, remains to be seen. We are working to provide information to the Governor's office letting them know that the plumbers in Texas need relief! Operating without state regulation and/or just counting on municipalities to enact ordinances would be utter chaos! More to come in the days ahead. Meanwhile, it is business as usual. The licensing law and rules are still in effect.
IT HAS BEEN A TOUGH WEEK!
With the recent decisions made at the Texas legislature, PHCC Texas is working hard to urge the Governor to ask the Governor to intervene on our behalf. We strongly believe licensing of plumbers belongs at the state level.
Since the commencement of the Texas Sunset Review of TSBPE, we have diligently participated in meetings, letter writing campaigns, and phone calls stating the fact that plumbers matter and the work they do requires unique and dedicated oversight.
We have been at every hearing, offering testimony, sending out letter writing campaigns, requesting district legislative meetings by constituents, asking the legislative members to support the ongoing viability of TSBPE.
We are just as saddened and shocked to hear that although our efforts to save TSBPE occurred, we were subsequently caught in a legislative move that took away a "safety net" that would give TSBPE two more years with a future sunset review.
What are we doing now? The same things that you are. Letter writing, phone calls, office visits, and more. Asking those who use our services to reach out. Encouraging plumbers to make their voices heard.
We are so proud of the plumbers of Texas. They are strong, well trained, and proud of their trade. Keep fighting for what you know is right. We are fighting right along with you.
More to come. We will do what we can to share information as it is made known.
May 29th - TSBPE releases a statement regarding licensure. Click HERE to read more.
CURRENTLY, ALL LAW AND RULES ARE IN EFFECT!
March 25, 2019 The Senate Bill 621 regarding the move of TSBPE over to TDLR will most likely make it to the Senate floor for a vote soon. This week possibly. Stay tuned for further details.
We have been working diligently regarding these bills:
SB 1034/HB 1857 - regarding the ability for utility contractors to perform plumbing work on private, commercial property without a license up to five feet of the building.
SB 1106/HB 3622 - regarding the adoption of ONE statewide plumbing code; the ICC
SB 964 - regarding the ability for plumbing, air-conditioning, and electrical services to be performed, without a license during a declared disaster.
HB 4226 - regarding the formation of a Trades Board to encompass plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical
HB 2439 - regarding the ability of a municipality to adopt or enforce a rule, ordinance or other regulation that directly or indirectly prohibits the use of a building product, material or method of construction, repair or remodel.
There are some bills being heard in committee this week that pertain to contracts, liens and discrimination in occupational licensing. Click HERE to read more about these hearings.
February 28, 2019 It is official! The House and Senate versions of the Texas Sunset Bills have now been filed. You can read them in their entirety here:
What's next? We proceed to contact every Senator and Representative in both the the House Licensing & Regulation and Senate Business and Commerce committees. We are already doing this. Further, PHCC Texas is sending out a "call to action" alert on Friday, March 1st. This will take our membership and the industry directly to a link that will allow you to let your own legislators know how you feel about this bill.
There are other bills out there that require our attention. Please return to this page next week as we will provide an update of these very important "need to know" pieces of legislation.
January 31, 2019 Yesterday, over 30 plumbers and plumbing industry professionals walked the halls of the state Capitol sharing their stories. Our message: "Keep the oversight of plumbing as a stand-alone agency!" We were a unified voice, telling legislators the "why" in our message.
What's next? We wait for the official Sunset Bill to be published. It is still being worked up and reviewed by Legislative Council. Once it is released, the two sponsors: Rep. Lambert and Sen. Nichols. And then, let the show begin! It will go through committee hearings, amendment attempts, and more hearings. If this bill finally makes it to the floor in both Chambers, we will find out the final outcome of TSBPE.
More to come on this issue. We are in "wait" as we are not yet sure of all that the bill will hold. We do know who comprises the Senate Business & Commerce Committee and the House Licensing & Regulation Committee. Those offices received visits from us yesterday.
Your part? Reach out to your respective Senator and Representative. Tell them you wish for TSBPE to not be abolished as per the Sunset Commission recommendation.
We are at the forefront of fighting for your industry! Let us know how we can help you.
January 10, 2019 On Wednesday, January 9th the Texas Sunset Commission voted to support the staff’s recommendation to move the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners over to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, better known as TDLR.
You could have heard a pin drop as the votes were tabulated and the final numbers reported: 7 to move the agency and 5 to keep it stand-alone with a 4-year time frame before being reviewed once again. A collective round of sighs filled the room. To say that a sinking feeling was felt inside me is not even adequate to describe the thoughts going on.
The proceedings went quickly given the amount of ground that was to be covered. The overarching sentiment was that the state plumbing board has had since their 2002 Sunset review to fix several items and yet they remain on the recent 2018 report! This did not bode well for the those on the Commission that felt TSBPE was derelict in their duties as a state board to oversee the changes required by the last sunset review.
I would like to send a huge shout out to Representative Senfronia Thompson and Senator Kirk Watson who brought forth modification proposals asking for TSBPE to be given 4 years to make necessary changes. Their arguments were strong and their respect for the plumbers in Texas was evident, but it wasn’t enough. Their peers were concerned that an agency with as many problems it is currently experiencing would be hard pressed to fix them with the status quo.
Where do we go from here? WE FIGHT! Our plumbing lobby is strong. With over 56,000 licensed plumbers and registered apprentices in Texas, our State Legislature knows who we are. We can make a difference if we continue to put our efforts into making the importance of plumbing and a stand-alone agency known. What work will we do?
· We will visit key legislators asking for their support as we move our agenda forward
· We will ask plumbers, like yourselves to make those important phone calls and visits
· We will be tapping on the resources of our lobby team, three of them, to continue to reach out to every single legislative office in Austin to let them know the plumbers are here and we want to be a part of the process
I have already been asked as to what our chances are in fighting the decisions made yesterday. I am not one who usually likes to give odds on things like this, but my gut is telling me that with a 7-5 vote from the legislators who make up the Sunset Commission, we would have those odds across the full legislature. Doable? You bet!
As this message comes to a close, I would be remiss if I didn’t stress that the commission members understand the value of what you do. Do they need further education? Absolutely! Plumbers do protect the health and safety of this state and yes, the nation! What you do is important and the availability of safe drinking water and protection from faulty gas and sewer lines is a must.
We here at the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors will continue the fight. We will stand strong with other stakeholders in this industry and lobby to protect those licenses and registrations you hold. We are not going away. We are fighters. You are fighters. Let’s finish this fight together and look back on our experience with pride. Pride in serving those we represent.
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
And so, we carry on! Stay tuned. There is more to come.
December 12, 2018:the Texas Sunset Commission members met at the Texas State Capitol to hear the Sunset staff presentation of the recommendations for TSBPE. The Executive Director, Lisa Hill, and her board members; Julio Cerda, Chair, and Robert Jalnos, member, also spoke in defense of TSBPE and why it should remain a stand-alone agency. Over 40 individuals registered to testify before the commission. Overwhelmingly, the message heard was "keep TSBPE as a stand-alone agency!"
PHCC and its legislative consultants are working to find sympathetic commission members who may possibly be willing to allow TSBPE to remain as is. Lots of work to be done for sure. We appreciate the industry professionals who have come forward to either testify, write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of the plumbing industry.
STAY TUNED! The Sunset Commission will meet in January 9, 2019 to discuss their final decisions about the future of TSBPE. You can go to this link to view the agenda:
On November 9th the staff of the Texas Sunset Commission issued a report regarding the future of the TSBPE. In this report, several recommendations were made, prompted by inefficiencies found regarding the regulation of plumbing. Here is the link to the full report: Sunset Commission Staff Report 2018
Of paramount importance is the first recommendation that the TSBPE by abolished and the oversight of plumbing be moved to the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation.
PHCC Texas and its legislative team have been working diligently to make our voices heard. Through a series of Capitol visits, phone calls, letter writing campaigns and testimony, we will work hard to protect the license holders of Texas!
On December 12th, forty-four plumbers or stakeholders registered to testify before the Commission regarding this report. Overwhelmingly the response was "keep our board!" Unfortunately, the responses of TSBPE themselves to the Commission was not taken in a positive light. They were in fact reprimanded for ineffective leadership and inability to enact change since the 2002 review.
Stay tuned.....PHCC will be at the forefront of representing you!
COME WALK WITH US!
PHCC/Texas Construction Association Walk on the Capitol
January 30, 2019
Click HERE for more information
ADVOCACY - the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending an idea, law, or rule change
As always, it is a priority of PHCC Texas to protect your right to do business in Texas and to be the lead watchdog for issues coming before our state Legislators.
The 86th Legislative Session will begin on January 8, 2019. As legislators are navigating election campaigns, funding issues, and an educational crisis, this upcoming session proves to be of great importance. Won't you join PHCC to have a voice? We need you!
Is there an issue you feel needs to be heard? Please contact our Executive Director, Alicia Dover at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, give us a call at (800) 992-7422
IT TAKES AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY TO MOVE LEGISLATIVE ISSUES FORWARD...PLEASE JOIN US!