Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday that extends the activity of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners through the end of the state's next legislative session, the governor's office says.
The board was set to be disbanded Sept. 1, after lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have extended operations for the state agency.
Had the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners been abolished, so would have any requirements for someone to call themselves a plumber. That potential concerned many plumbers who said the lack of regulation could pose a major safety risk statewide.
To issue the executive order, Abbott used a part of the Texas Government Code that allows the governor to suspend regulatory statutes for state business if following them would hinder disaster recovery, the governor's office said.
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Abbott's office said having a qualified workforce of licensed plumbers is critical to Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.
The executive order will extend the state plumbing board's operations through May 31, 2021, which would allow the 87th legislature time to address the matter.