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The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) applauds the Texas Legislature for reauthorizing the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE), a move that ensures plumbers will continue to have a key role in the decision-making process for plumbing-related issues in the nation's second most-populous state.
The TSBPE oversees the licensing of plumbers in the state of Texas, ensuring the public is aware of the crucial role plumbing plays in protecting the public's health and safety through community outreach and education, and investigating consumer complaints and taking enforcement and disciplinary action against persons who have violated the Plumbing License Law.
In 2019, the state's Sunset Advisory Commission recommended the TSBPE's duties and tasks be transferred to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, but the Texas House of Representatives voted against legislation abolishing the agency. Instead, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order extending the TSBPE until the end of the 2021 legislative session to give the Legislature, which only meets in odd-numbered years, the opportunity to reauthorize the agency by statute.
HB 636, sponsored by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) in the House and Sen. John Whitmire in the Senate, authorizes the continuation of the TSBPE until 2027. The legislation received strong bipartisan support, with Reps. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall), Stan Lambert (R-Abilene), Ana Hernandez (D-Jacinto City) and Charlie Geren (R-Lake Worth) joining as authors, in addition to having more than 40 co-sponsors.
HB 636 overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives by a 143-4 vote April 14 and the Senate, 28-2, on May 13. Abbott signed HB 636 into law on Wednesday.
"IAPMO is proud to have been a strong supporter of this bill and a partner with the plumbing industry in Texas to promote the industry and the people who serve it," IAPMO CEO Dave Viola said. "It is vital, especially in light of the recent winter storms that left so many in Texas without access to safe water and reliable sanitation, that qualified plumbers oversee the process of issuing licenses to the state's plumbers. Thanks to Rep. Thompson and Sen. Whitmire for their leadership in the Texas Legislature."