Beaumont based Coburn Supply Company will be one company among thousands of individual plumbers and hundreds of other companies who plan to attend a rally on the steps of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Friday. Coburn Supply will reportedly be sending a chartered bus to the event. At issue is the Texas Legislature’s recent decision to completely de-regulate the plumbing industry in Texas by abolishing the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, which was recently signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott and will go into effect on September 1st.
Meanwhile, two local legislators have weighed in on the issue. Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), who serves on the Sunset Committee and actually carried the bill, said Thursday that he believes plumbers who wanted this to happen didn’t really understand the issue from the beginning. Nichols said he believes that plumbers thought that dissolving the plumbing examiners board would lift regulations off of them and make their job easier, without realizing that it would also result in anyone – with no experience or training – having the ability to overnight go into the plumbing business.
Currently licensed plumbers, using the name "United to Save the Texas Plumbing License", are holding the rally to in an effort to convince Governor Abbott to call for a special session of the Legislature to implement state plumbing regulation before the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is abolished.
Texas State Representative James White (R-Woodville) said on Thursday “The Governor’s Office has assured me and my office that they will maintain some level of state oversight of the plumbing profession”. White went on to say “The Governor’s Office says there is a way to maintain the existence of the plumbing board to maintain regulatory oversight. How? We don’t know yet, he just said that he has a pathway as Governor”.
One way would be for the Governor to call for a special session to allow lawmakers an opportunity to revisit the issue and possibly turn it around. White said that he doesn’t think that will happen, but Nichols said he believes it will. Nichols said “I think the Governor will call a special three day session for this issue”.