Gov. Greg Abbott Reassures Texas Plumbers State's Licensing Board Will Be Extended

Abbott says he doesn't need a special session, will extend board by two years

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says the State Board of Plumbing Examiners will be extended two years, preventing the state agency that regulates and manages the licensing of plumbers from shutting down Sept. 1.

During the most recent legislative session that ended May 27, a bill that would have extended the operations for the state agency failed to pass -- putting not only the agency's immediate future at risk but the licenses of plumbers as well.

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.

"We deal with the safety of protecting from fire and explosion... this is serious," plumber Philip Sanders told NBC 5 Monday.

This week some plumbers began calling for Abbott to call a special session of the legislature to reinstate plumbing regulation in the state; they also planned to hold a rally in Austin on June 14.

Abbott responded to their concerns on Twitter Tuesday, saying he he wasn't going to call a special session but that, "the legislature has given the governor many tools in my toolbox to extend the State Board of Plumbing Examiners for two years without needing to call a special session."

Abbott reassured plumbers "We've got this," and said he'd reveal his plan for extending licensing soon.

The state's next legislative session, the 87th, begins Jan 12, 2021.

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