Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) announced via Twitter on Tuesday that the governor’s office had the authority to continue the existence of the Texas Board of Plumbing Examiners for two years without the need for a special legislative session.
Some groups of Texas plumbers asked Abbott to call a special legislative session to address plumbing oversight after the Texas State Legislature failed to approve sunset review legislation last month that would have continued regulatory oversight of plumbers in the state. Lawmakers disagreed over the sunset bill’s proposal to move the responsibilities of the plumbing board under the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Supporters 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 of the plumbing board served to protect public health and safety in a specialized industry.
Without Abbott’s extension, the legislative inaction would result in the expiration of the state’s plumbing code on September 1, 2019, and the end of plumbing board operations by September 2020. Abbott’s announcement did not specify how he would extend the life of plumbing regulation in the state.