HB 2255

84(R) - 2015
House Licensing & Administrative Procedures
House Licensing & Administrative Procedures
Occupational Licensing

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Lyle Larson


Larry Gonzales

Bill Caption

Relating to the regulation of plumbing.

Fiscal Notes

A fiscal note dated May 25, 2015 anticipates no fiscal implication to the State or units of local government.

Bill Analysis

House Bill 2255 would amend Section 1301.002 of the Occupations Code to define "control valve" and "executive director". It would also redefine "Drain cleaner," "Drain cleaner-restricted registrant" and "Journeyman plumber" to require that their training time in terms of working hours be completed under the supervision of a "responsible master plumber" as opposed to a "master plumber" as currently required under statute.

The bill would amend Section 1301.151 of the Occupations Code to change the make-up of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners by substituting a plumbing contractor with at least 5 years experience with an individual that has been a responsible master plumber for at least 5 years with at least 10 years experience as a licensed journeyman plumber or master plumber; and it would require that the member who is a license engineer practice in the field of plumbing engineering.

House Bill 2255 would amend Section 1301.202 of the Occupations Code to require that a plumbing examiner hold a license as a plumber, be knowledgeable of plumbing statutes and municipal ordinances relating to plumbing, and be qualified by experience and training in plumbing practice.

House Bill 2255 would amend Section 1301.354 of the Occupations Code relating to the plumber's apprentice to authorize that, at an applicant's request, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners could credit the applicant with up to 1,000 (as opposed to 500 currently) hours of the work experience required before taking the examination, in certain conditions.

Vote Recommendation Notes

The aim of House Bill 2255, according to its statement of intent, is to alleviate a plumbing workforce shortage. The statement of intent indicates that part of the shortage is due to the burdensome training requirements that people who want to work in plumbing need to go through.

House Bill 2255 is a step in the right direction as it recognizes that the occupational licensing of the trade of plumbing, such as the occupational licensing of many trades, creates a barrier to entry in the trade and risks creating shortages of skilled workers in and practitioners of certain trades, such as the one HB 2255 tries to remedy. As a consequence, we support this bill.

In the long run, however, this is merely an incremental change to a system of occupational licensure that needs a complete overhaul. Too many occupations in Texas are under licensure requirements. Occupational licensure for the most part serves as industry protection against unwanted competition, creates undue barriers to entry, interferes with the free market transactions between willing buyers and sellers, limits consumer choice, and creates shortages of labors in many licensed occupations. For further consideration, interested readers may wish to review further background provided by the Texas Public Policy Foundation here, the Institute for Justice here, and U.S. News & World Report here.