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An Update from Austin

 | Published on 11/7/2019

Maintaining Statewide Licensing Update

PHCC leadership and staff continue to meet with key legislators and other industry leaders in our efforts to build support to maintain statewide licensing of plumbing in Texas. The recent developments involving Speaker Bonnen continue to dominate the focus and conversations of legislators, and that is affecting our ability to have in-depth discussions with them about the State Board of Plumbing Examiners. While legislators’ attention won’t be focused on the speaker controversy forever, the holidays and primary election season are also coming up, so we’ll be using these next few months to strategize with our government relations and communications team to develop a solid plan to mobilize support for our goal to maintain statewide licensure. We will continue with our outreach to key legislators during this time. We’re also in communication with the governor’s office and watching his actions closely regarding appointments to fill vacancies and replace existing members on the board. More on this below. As we have shared, it’s business as usual with the board, as it will continue with its statewide licensing functions until the Legislature meets again in 2021. If you have any questions on this, please don’t hesitate to contact PHCC.

 

Appointments to the State Board of Plumbing Examiners and Its Next Meeting

The October meeting of the State Board of Plumbing Examiners was canceled, and the date for the next meeting has not yet been set. We’re monitoring this closely and will keep you informed. We do know that the governor is reviewing applications for appointments to the board. Currently there are three vacancies on the board. Additionally, the terms of three of the existing members expired in September. If the governor chooses not to reappoint the current board members, that will mean he will be naming six new members to the nine-member board. We’ve been told the office has received hundreds of applications and is attempting to do its due diligence on each of them. We’ll update you as we learn more about his intentions.

 

Building Our Grassroots Support

As part of our strategy in the coming months, PHCC will be asking our members to reach out to their legislators to educate them on the importance of maintaining statewide licensure. We will provide material, key messages and talking points to those who are able to do so to ensure we have a united message and to make the process easy and simple. For now, we’re working to identify PHCC members that may have an existing relationship with their legislator or those that do not but would be willing to be a part of our outreach efforts. If you have not done so, please take a couple of minutes to complete this survey, to support our efforts to build a strong army of plumbers across the state who can help build momentum for our industry.

 

A New Speaker Next Session

Speaker Bonnen’s announcement that he will not seek re-election guarantees there will be a new speaker elected when the Legislature convenes in January of 2021. This will be critically important to our efforts, as the speaker can single-handedly determine the fate of legislation. He also appoints the committee chairs that determine whether legislation advances or stalls. A new speaker will mean new committee chairs, which will have a direct impact on our success during the session. We’ll keep you posted of developments related to a likely speaker’s race that will add a new twist to an already decisive election year. In case you have not been able to follow the developments involving the speaker’s decision not to seek re-election, you may click here to learn more about the events that led to his announcement.

 

Alicia Dover

Executive Director - PHCC