Local plumbers head to Austin to rally for legislation change

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Plumbers around Texas are planning to rally Friday morning on the south steps of the state capitol to show their concern about certain legislation changes. 

After a recent session, lawmakers did not re-approve the board that regulates the industry as well as oversees licenses for professionals, leaving many concerned about the future. 

For a standard plumbing license, it takes 4,000 hours or about two years to receive all the hands-on training and education needed to become a professional.

It also comes with background checks to assure you are getting a certified plumber, and some master licenses can take over a decade to earn. 

In East Texas, several local plumbers are unhappy with the industry’s recent regulation and are taking part in the rally. 

Their goal is to have Gov. Abbott call for a special session to bring the regulatory board back, and are concerned what about what may happen if that doesn’t occur.

“Safety is the biggest deal,” Joe Baker, owner of Super Plumbers in Tyler, said, “If you had a gas leak on your home or something in your home or something, then you’re going to have a plumber that actually makes that repair. The same thing goes for fresh water, you’re drinking water, which your children bathe in.”

Other employees at Super Plumbers who have gone through the licensing process, like Brandon Korenkov, also have concerns. 

“It’s going to flood the market completely,” Korenkov says, “It’s going to give an open base where anyone can freely do it without any regulations to stop improper installations, and people can get hurt doing this.”

Gov. Abbott responded to the uptick in concern with a tweet saying, “”TEXAS PLUMBERS: We’ve got this. 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. We will let you know very soon. Don’t worry.”

A petition has formed online, ahead of Friday’s rally, and is seeking 150 thousand signatures. 

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