Louisiana lawmakers advanced a proposal Tuesday that would give full statewide licensure to plumbers currently restricted to working in a certain parish or local jurisdiction. (WES MULLER/LOUISIANA ILLUMINATOR)
The Louisiana Legislature approved a bill Thursday that would give full statewide licensure to plumbers currently restricted to working in a certain parish or local jurisdiction.
House Bill 300, sponsored by Rep. Phillip Devillier, R-Eunice, received final passage in the Senate with a 31-0 vote.
If the governor signs the bill, it will eliminate a licensing roadblock within state law that restricts certain plumbers from working outside of a limited geographical area.
Before the state adopted its master plumber licensing laws in 1990, plumbers worked under licenses issued by their local jurisdictions. Plumbers who did not obtain the new state-level license could continue working under a restricted license so long as they did not work outside of their local jurisdiction.
Devillier’s proposal would allow plumbers who have worked under a restricted license prior to Jan. 1, 2023, to obtain either the state journeyman’s license or master plumber’s license upon written request to the state Plumbing Board of Louisiana.
To obtain a plumber’s license in Louisiana, one must first become an apprentice, work under supervision for several years and pass multiple state exams.
There are different levels of plumbing licenses in Louisiana. A journeyman must have at least five years or 8,000 hours of experience as a licensed apprentice, can perform installations while working for a master plumber and can supervise an apprentice. A master plumber must be a licensed journeyman or professional engineer and can perform all areas of plumbing work, own a plumbing business and employ apprentices and journeyman plumbers.
Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, said the legislation would help alleviate the shortage of experienced plumbers in the state, especially in areas devastated by hurricanes.
The Legislature also repealed licensing requirements for residential subcontractors.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, sponsored by Sen. Stewart Cathey, R-Monroe, received unanimous support in both chambers.
The resolution repealed regulations the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors adopted that require residential building subcontractors to hold a specialty classification license to work directly for a homeowner rather than for a general contractor on projects that exceed $7,500. The licenses include pile driving, foundation work, framing, roofing and masonry/stucco.
To obtain any of the specialty licenses, applicants were previously required to be registered with the Secretary of State, pass a business and law exam, successfully complete the trade examination for the respective specialty classification and provide proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
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