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The Indiana and Tennessee state chapters received top legislative awards for their government advocacy efforts at the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC) CONNECT 2015 in Hollywood, Florida, earlier this month.
The PHCC of Indiana convinced the Indiana General Assembly of the importance of retaining statewide plumbing licensing and the Tennessee chapter successfully advocated for legislation to require carbon monoxide detectors in hotels following three deaths associated with an improperly installed pool heater.
In Indiana, the state PHCC became aware of the formation of a committee to assess the efficiency of certain occupational licenses, possibly replacing licensing with self-certification or registration. The licensing law currently applies to plumbing apprentices, journeyman plumbers and plumbing contractors.
"The Indiana chapter worked hard to convince the Governors Job Creation Committee of the vital importance of the Indiana Plumbing Commission and the statewide licensing," according to Mark Giebelhaus, chairman of the PHCC's Government Relations Committee.
In the final analysis, the committee recommended retaining the current law which protects public health by ensuring skilled and knowledgeable plumbing services. The Indiana Chapter extensively markets the state requirements through its campaign: "Call A Licensed Plumber: It's the Law."
The Tennessee chapter was recognized for successfully advocating for legislation requiring carbon monoxide detectors in hotels. This was achieved after meeting with legislators and special interest groups, promoting passage of the bill, attending committee hearings and for legislation at the annual "Day on the Hill."
"Thanks to their efforts, the bill was overwhelmingly passed by the Senate and House - and signed by advocating the governor," said Giebelhaus.
The fight for legislation relates to an incident where three people, including an 11-year-old boy, were killed in two separate accidents in the same hotel room. Investigators believe the cause of the deaths was elevated carbon monoxide levels from the improper installation and condition of the indoor pool water heaters and exhaust system.