The Texas Board of Plumbing Examiners and the state’s plumbing regulations will cease to exist after the Texas State Legislature on Sunday failed to approve associated sunset review legislation. The state’s plumbing code will expire on September 1, 2019, and the board will wind down operations by September 2020.
The sunset bill—a type of legislation that establishes a date on which an agency or law will expire without specific legislative action—proposed to move the responsibilities of the plumbing board under the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Lawmakers in support of the bill argued that the move would improve efficiency, such as reducing the state’s eight-month processing period for issuing a plumbing license. Opponents claimed that the lengthy licensing period and other alleged inefficiencies functioned to protect public health and safety in a specialized industry.
Some plumbers in Texas have asked Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) to call a special legislative session to address plumbing oversight. Abbott had not responded to requests for comment on the issue as of May 29. In the absence of a state plumbing code, municipal plumbing codes will govern plumbing oversight at the local level.