Governor Greg Abbott yesterday issued an executive order to extend the activity of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners past its set expiration of September 1, 2019. Governor Abbott utilized Section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, which allows the Governor to suspend provisions of regulatory statutes prescribing the procedures for the conduct of state business if strict compliance would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with a disaster.
Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall and caused widespread destruction, the Governor has issued a disaster declaration each month effective through today. The magnitude of what still must be rebuilt is reflected in the more than $10 billion of federal funds that are newly or nearly available to Texas for areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. A qualified workforce of licensed plumbers throughout the state, including from areas not directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, will be essential as those funds are being invested in crucial infrastructure, medical facilities, living facilities, and other construction projects.
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, whose mission is “to protect Texas citizens against the health and safety hazards that can result from improperly installed plumbing, gas, and medical gas systems,” will continue to play an essential role in all these efforts by ensuring that the plumbers who rebuild Texas and prepare for future disasters do so in a manner that will safeguard public health, safety, and property.
To fulfill the demands for rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey and keeping Texas prepared and able to recover from future disasters, it is necessary to continue the Board to perform its indispensable role in protecting Texans.
By utilizing the powers granted to him by the Legislature under the Texas Government Code, the Governor’s order today will allow the Board to continue its operations through May 31, 2021, giving the 87th legislature time to address the matter.