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Gov. Greg Abbott To Extend Plumbers State's Licensing Board

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Governor Greg Abbott said he can extend the life of the state board that regulates plumbers.

In a Tweet Tuesday morning, Abbott wrote, "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. #txlege"

Last week, state lawmakers moved to shutter the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners by September 1, 2019.

Since the end of the regular legislative session last week, more than 75,000 people have signed a petition on to ask Gov. Abbott to convene a special session.  

Gov. Abbott did not elaborate on how he could keep the board in tact without calling for a special session, but he told reporters during a news conference Tuesday that a plan is in the works.

"We are exploring all possible options as we speak right now," Gov. Abbott said. "We look forward to making an announcement here in a short period of time to make sure that this issue is put to rest." 

Local plumbers applauded the decision.

"This is about codes. This is about knowledge," said plumber Clete Rheinlander. "It's not something that can be learned from YouTube from a video. We are here to protect the sanitation of our nation." 

But some professionals said while they support licensing and regulation, they would also welcome needed reforms from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

A common complaint is that it can take weeks for the state to process licenses for apprentice plumbers, according to plumber Joey Howze.

"The time delay to hire them, to put them on the job legally, it was quite a long wait for that to happen," Howze said.

State Representative Justin Holland (R-Rockwall) is meeting with plumbers Tuesday night to discuss what could be next.

The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at 2360 Crist Rd. #B900 in Garland.

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