AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has extended the State Board of Plumbing Examiners following outrage from state plumbers after lawmakers in the state abolished the regulating agency.
The agency would have been abolished effective Sept. 1, 2019, but with Gov. Abbott's extension, they will be able to continue operations.
The governor's office said in a press release on Thursday that it is necessary to continue the board to perform its role in protecting Texans by fulfilling the demands for rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey and keeping Texas prepared.
Plumbers still plan to come together and rally at the Capitol Friday though the reason has changed. Organizers told the Texas Tribune what was a rally calling for a special session will now be a "thank you rally."
Executive Director of the Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors Association of Texas (PHCC) Alicia Dover sent out a statement following the announcement from the governor's office.
“PHCC is grateful to Governor Abbott for an Executive Order issued today extending the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners until September of 2021. This option maintains the plumbing certifications and licenses necessary to preserve the health, safety and well-being of all Texans.
Maintaining these certifications and licenses will continue to be the top priority of our organization. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Governor’s office on this important announcement and hopeful resolution.
Appropriate licensing and oversight of Texas plumbers is valued by the responsible individuals who comprise our industry and is relied upon by the Texans that utilize their services. From providing peace of mind to families in their homes to ensuring safety in our schools, hospitals and businesses, the role of the plumber is central to the core of our daily lives.
Plumbers speak to hundreds of thousands of Texans every day and overwhelmingly, we are hearing that the public feels strongly about maintaining uniform licensure across the state.
We applaud Gov. Abbott’s leadership in recognizing the seriousness of this situation.
We are committed to working with Gov. Abbott and legislators to ensure that uniform plumbing standards and enforcement remains in place.
We look forward to working with our state leaders during the interim to address important industry issues that will be discussed as part of the Sunset process.”
The extension is through May 31, 2021, and will give the 87th legislature time to address the matter.
Despite the announcement, a rally for the future of Texas plumbers is still set to be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at the Texas State Capitol.