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Thousands of licensed plumbers, family members and supporters organized as United to Save the Texas Plumbing License are expected to rally June 14 at 11 a.m. in Austin, Texas, at the Capitol Building to request that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott call for a special session to implement state plumbing regulation before the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is abolished.
The board is set to close down because lawmakers didn’t pass legislation during the recent session to keep the board intact. The legislature adjourned last month without reauthorizing the board, which means it will cease operations Sept. 1 unless something is done in the interim.
Lawmakers had also debated to transfer the board's responsibility to the State Department of Licensing and Regulation, a much larger agency overseeing some 40 other licensed occupations, but the House and Senate couldn't agree on how to do that.
“I think if everyone had known that defeating this bill was going to result in the elimination of the agency there would’ve been a lot of different debate on it,” State Representative John Smithee told a local ABC affiliate on June 10.
Here’s a good explanation of the fate of the plumbing examiners’ board.
In the meantime, Gov. Abbott did offer some condolence on June 4 when he tweeted: “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. We will let you know very soon. Don’t worry.”
But that hasn’t dissuaded rally organizers:
“The Plumber's Rally WILL be held on the 14th regardless if any changes to law are enacted prior to that date,” states the website. “Whether we are already celebrating or still standing our ground, WE WILL BE THERE STANDING TOGETHER.
“We must stay united as LICENSED PLUMBERS in our duty to protect the health and safety of the State of Texas. Be proud Texas Plumbers, your voice is making a difference. See you at the Rally!”
All information regarding the Plumber’s Rally, along with a link to a petition to save the board can be found at: www.texaslicensedplumbers.com. As of June 11, more than 91,560 people had signed the petition.