Current as of 04/24/2021    Plumbing Regulation Bills Compared

HB 636

SB 871

SB 1196

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 1.  Section 1301.002(9-a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(9-a)  "Responsible master plumber" means a person licensed as a master plumber under this chapter who:

(A)  allows the person's master plumber license to be used by one plumbing company for the purpose of offering and performing plumbing work under the person's master plumber license;

(B)  is authorized to obtain permits for plumbing work;

(C)  assumes responsibility for plumbing work performed under the person's license; and

(D)  has submitted a certificate of insurance as required by Section 1301.3576 [; and

[(E)  has completed a training program required by Section 1301.3576].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 2.  Section 1301.002(10), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(10)  "Tradesman plumber-limited license holder" means a person who:

(A)  has:

(i)  completed at least 4,000 hours working under the direct supervision of a journeyman or master plumber as a plumber's apprentice; or

(ii)  successfully completed a coherent sequence of courses in the plumbing trade that are offered through a career and technology education program, as described by Section 1301.3542;

(B)  has passed the required examination;

(C)  constructs and installs plumbing for one-family or two-family dwellings under the supervision of a responsible master plumber; and

(D)  has fulfilled the other requirements of the board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 1.  Section 1301.002, Occupations Code, is amended by amending Subdivisions (2), (3), (4), (6), (9), and (10) and adding Subdivision (7-a) to read as follows:

(2)  "Drain cleaning" [cleaner"] means [a person who]:

(A)  installing [has completed at least 4,000 hours working under the supervision of a responsible master plumber as a drain cleaner-restricted registrant;

[(B)  has fulfilled the requirements of and is registered with the board; and

[(C)  installs] cleanouts and removing [removes] and resetting [resets] p-traps to eliminate obstructions in building drains and sewers under the supervision of a [responsible] master plumber; or

(B)  clearing[.

[(3)  "Drain cleaner-restricted registrant" means a person who:

[(A)  has worked as a plumber's apprentice under the supervision of a responsible master plumber;

[(B)  has fulfilled the requirements of and is registered with the board; and

[(C)  clears] obstructions in sewer and drain lines through any code-approved existing opening under the supervision of a [responsible] master plumber.

(4)  "Journeyman plumber" means a person licensed under this chapter who:

(A)  has met the qualifications for registration as a plumber's apprentice or for licensing as a tradesman plumber-limited license holder;

(B)  has completed at least 8,000 hours working under the supervision of a [responsible] master plumber;

(C)  installs, changes, repairs, services, or renovates plumbing or supervises any of those activities under the supervision of a [responsible] master plumber;

(D)  has passed the required examination; and

(E)  has fulfilled the other requirements of the board.

(6)  "Plumber's apprentice" means a person other than a master plumber, journeyman plumber, or tradesman plumber-limited license holder who:

(A)  [,] as the person's principal occupation, learns about and assists in the installation of plumbing, including drain cleaning and residential utilities installation;

(B)  has fulfilled the requirements of and is registered by the board;[,] and

(C)  works under the supervision of a [responsible] master plumber [and the direct supervision of a licensed plumber].

(7-a)  "Plumbing contractor" means a person licensed as a plumbing contractor under this chapter who:

(A)  is a master plumber, or employs a master plumber, for the purpose of offering and performing plumbing work that will be performed or supervised by the master plumber;

(B)  is authorized to obtain permits for plumbing work;

(C)  assumes responsibility for plumbing work performed for compensation paid to the person; and

(D)  has submitted a certificate of insurance as required by Section 1301.3576.

 

 

 

(9)  "Residential utilities installation" ["Residential utilities installer"] means constructing and installing [a person who:

[(A)  has completed at least 2,000 hours working under the supervision of a master plumber as a plumber's apprentice;

[(B)  has fulfilled the requirements of and is registered with the board; and

[(C)  constructs and installs] yard water service piping for one-family or two-family dwellings and building sewers under the supervision of a [responsible] master plumber.

(10)  "Tradesman plumber-limited license holder" means a person who:

(A)  has completed at least 4,000 hours working under the direct supervision of a journeyman or master plumber as a plumber's apprentice;

(B)  has passed the required examination;

(C) constructs and installs plumbing for one-family or two-family dwellings under the supervision of a [responsible] master plumber; and

(D)  has fulfilled the other requirements of the board.

 

SECTION 1.  Section 1301.002(9-a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(9-a)  "Responsible master plumber" means a person licensed as a master plumber under this chapter who:

(A)  allows the person's master plumber license to be used by one plumbing company for the purpose of offering and performing plumbing work under the person's master plumber license;

(B)  is authorized to obtain permits for plumbing work;

(C)  assumes responsibility for plumbing work performed under the person's license; and

(D)  has submitted a certificate of insurance as required by Section 1301.3576 [; and

[(E)  has completed a training program required by Section 1301.3576].

 

SECTION 3.  Section 1301.003, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.003.  APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT.  The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the board is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2027 [2019].

 

SECTION 2.  Section 1301.003, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.003.  APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT.  The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the board is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2027 [2019].

 

SECTION 2.  Section 1301.003, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.003.  APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT.  The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the board is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2027 [2019].

 

SECTION 3.  Section 1301.151(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)  The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners consists of nine members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate as follows:

(1)  one member who has at least 10 years' practical experience and is licensed as a master plumber;

(2)  one member who has at least five years' practical experience and is licensed as a journeyman plumber;

(3)  one member who has at least five years' practical experience and is licensed as a plumbing inspector;

(4)  one member who is [has been] a plumbing contractor [responsible master plumber for at least five years with at least 10 years' experience as a licensed journeyman plumber or master plumber];

(5)  one member who is a licensed engineer practicing in the field of plumbing engineering;

(6)  two members who are building contractors with at least five years' contracting experience, one of whom is principally engaged in home building and one of whom is principally engaged in commercial building; [and]

(7)  one member who is a licensed plumber; and

(8)  one member [two members] who represents [represent] the public.

 

 

 

SECTION 4.  The heading to Section 1301.152, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.152.  ELIGIBILITY OF PUBLIC MEMBER [MEMBERS].

 

 

SECTION 5.  The heading to Section 1301.202, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.202.  CERTAIN PLUMBING EXAMINERS [EXAMINER].

SECTION 3.  The heading to Section 1301.202, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.202.  CERTAIN PLUMBING EXAMINERS [EXAMINER].

SECTION 5.  Section 1301.202(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)  If an examination required for the issuance of a license, registration, or endorsement under this chapter contains a practical component, the [The] board shall employ or contract with one or more plumbing examiners to administer that portion of the examination.  [A plumbing examiner serves at the will of the board.]  A plumbing examiner must:

(1)  hold a license as a plumber issued under this chapter;

(2)  be knowledgeable of this chapter and municipal ordinances relating

SECTION 6.  Section 1301.202(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)  If an examination required for the issuance of a license, endorsement, or certificate of registration under this chapter contains a practical component, the [The] board shall employ or contract with one or more plumbing examiners to administer that portion of the examination.  [A plumbing examiner serves at the will of the board.]  A plumbing examiner must:

(1)  hold a license as a plumber issued under this chapter; and

(2)  be knowledgeable of this chapter and municipal ordinances relating to plumbing[; and

[(3)  be qualified by experience and training in plumbing practice].

 

  SECTION 4.  Section 1301.202(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)  If an examination required for the issuance of a license, registration, or endorsement under this chapter contains a practical component, the [The] board shall employ or contract with one or more plumbing examiners to administer that portion of the examination.  [A plumbing examiner serves at the will of the board.]  A plumbing examiner must:

(1)  hold a license as a plumber issued under this chapter;

(2)  be knowledgeable of this chapter and municipal ordinances relating to plumbing; and

(3)  be qualified by experience and training in plumbing practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 6.  Section 1301.203(b), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(b)  A field representative may:

(1)  conduct on-site license checks to determine compliance with this chapter;

(2)  investigate consumer complaints filed under Section 1301.303;

(3)  assist municipal plumbing inspectors in enforcing this chapter; and

(4)  [issue citations as provided by Section 1301.502; and

[(5)]  in the performance of the field representative's other duties under this chapter, check the license, registration, or endorsement of a person regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation in accordance with the memorandum of understanding adopted under Section 1301.259 and report any noncompliance to that agency.

 

SECTION 7.  Section 1301.203, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:

(c)  The board by rule shall assign priorities and prescribe procedures for conducting checks described by Subsection (b)(1) based on:

(1)  the degree of potential harm to public health, safety, or property;

(2)  the history of previous violations of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter by a person regulated under this chapter; and

(3)  any other indication of increased risk to public health, safety, or property, as determined by the board.

 

 

SECTION 7.  Section 1301.203, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.203.  FIELD REPRESENTATIVE; INSPECTIONS.  (a)  The board shall [may] employ a field representative to assist the board in enforcing this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter.  A field representative must[:

[(1)  hold a license as a plumber under this chapter;

[(2)]  be knowledgeable of this chapter and municipal ordinances relating to plumbing[; and

[(3)  be qualified by experience and training in plumbing practice].

(b)  A field representative may:

(1)  conduct on-site license checks to determine compliance with this chapter;

(2)  investigate consumer complaints filed under Section 1301.303;

(3)  assist municipal plumbing inspectors in enforcing this chapter; and

(4)  [issue citations as provided by Section 1301.502; and

[(5)]  in the performance of the field representative's other duties under this chapter, check the license, registration, or endorsement of a person regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation in accordance with the memorandum of understanding adopted under Section 1301.259 and report any noncompliance to that agency.

(c)  For an inspection or investigation that involves the quality of plumbing work, including whether the plumbing work complies with any applicable plumbing code requirements, the board shall employ or contract with a person who holds a license as a plumber under this chapter to conduct or assist in the inspection or investigation.

 

SECTION 5.  Section 1301.203, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(c)  The board by rule shall assign priorities and prescribe procedures for conducting checks described by Subsection (b)(1) based on:

(1)  the degree of potential harm to public health, safety, or property;

(2)  the history of previous violations of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter by a person regulated under this chapter; and

(3)  any other indication of increased risk to public health, safety, or property, as determined by the board.

 

SECTION 8.  Section 1301.258(b), Occupations Code, as added by Chapter 819 (S.B. 282), Acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, is amended to read as follows:

(b)  The presiding officer of the board shall appoint the members of the committees.  [Except as provided by Subsection (c), each committee member must be a member of the board.]

 

 

 

 

SECTION 8.  Section 1301.262, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.262.  CODES [PLUMBING INSPECTOR CODE] OF CONDUCT.  (a)  The board by rule shall establish a code of conduct for licensed plumbing inspectors.  The code of conduct shall require a plumbing inspector to enforce this chapter and board rules in a consistent manner across job sites.

(b)  The board by rule may establish standards of conduct for a holder of a license, endorsement, or certificate of registration issued under this chapter.

 

 

SECTION 9.  Subchapter E, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.263 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.263.  EXAMINATION ADMINISTRATION AND CONTENT.  (a)  The board may adopt, recognize, develop, or contract for an examination required by this chapter, including the administration of the examination.

(b)  For each examination required by this chapter, the board shall, to the extent feasible, adopt, recognize, develop, or contract for an examination that includes components that may be administered:

(1)  in writing or online; and

(2)  by a person other than a plumbing examiner described by Section 1301.202.

 

(c)  The board shall determine the passing score for an examination required by this chapter.

 

SECTION 9.  Subchapter E, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Sections 1301.263 and 1301.264 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.263.  EXAMINATION ADMINISTRATION AND CONTENT.  (a)  The board shall recognize, prepare, administer, or arrange for the administration of an examination required by this chapter.

 

(b)  The board shall determine the minimum requirements and passing score for an examination required by this chapter.

 

 

 

 

 

(c)  If an examination required by this chapter contains a practical component, the practical component must be administered by a plumbing examiner as provided by Section 1301.202.

Sec. 1301.264.  SUPERVISION RULES; RESPONSIBILITY FOR PLUMBING WORK.  (a)  The board by rule shall:

(1)  require that, for each task involved in plumbing, a master plumber:

(A)  perform the task; or

(B)  provide general or direct supervision of a less experienced plumber who performs the task;

(2)  require that each plumber's apprentice and tradesman plumber-limited license holder perform plumbing under the direct or general supervision of a more experienced plumber;

(3)  specify the plumbing tasks that a plumber's apprentice or tradesman plumber-limited license holder must perform under direct supervision and the plumbing tasks a plumber's apprentice or tradesman plumber-limited license holder must perform under general supervision;

(4)  specify the amount of classroom training meeting the requirements of Subsection (b), practical plumbing experience, or a combination of that training and experience necessary to:

(A)  exempt a plumber from the direct supervision requirements under this section; and

(B)  permit the plumber to perform the plumbing under general supervision;

(5)  require a plumber, other than a master plumber, to document the plumber's:

(A)  classroom training that meets the requirements of Subsection (b); and

(B)  practical plumbing experience; and

(6)  require the plumbing contractor, and supervising plumber, if any, to assume responsibility for plumbing performed, including the quality of the plumbing and the supervision of less experienced plumbers.

(b)  Notwithstanding the minimum requirements for a continuing education program or instructor established under this chapter, the board by rule shall establish minimum requirements for classroom training, other than a continuing education program under this chapter, that, if successfully completed and documented by a plumber, the board shall credit toward:

(1)  the necessary classroom training required to:

(A)  exempt the plumber from the direct supervision requirements under this section; and

(B)  permit the plumber to perform specified plumbing tasks under general supervision;

(2)  the continuing education required under this chapter to renew a license, endorsement, or certificate of registration, as applicable to the plumber; and

(3)  the eligibility requirements for a license under this chapter, as applicable to the plumber.

 

SECTION 6.  Subchapter E, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.263 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.263.  EXAMINATION ADMINISTRATION AND CONTENT.  (a)  The board may adopt, recognize, develop, or contract for an examination required by this chapter, including the administration of the examination.

(b)  For each examination required by this chapter, the board shall, to the extent feasible, adopt, recognize, develop, or contract for an examination that includes components that may be administered:

(1)  in writing or online; and

(2)  by a person other than a plumbing examiner described by Section 1301.202.

(c)  The board shall determine the passing score for an examination required by this chapter.

 

 

SECTION 10.  Section 1301.302, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.302.  CONTRACT INFORMATION; REQUIRED DOCUMENTS.  A written proposal, invoice, or contract relating to plumbing services performed by or under the direction of a plumber licensed under this chapter must contain the name and license number of the plumbing contractor [responsible master plumber] and the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the board.  The person who performed the services shall give the customer an invoice or completed contract document on completion of the job, regardless of whether the person charged a fee for performing the services.

 

 

SECTION 10.  Section 1301.303(e), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(e)  The board by rule shall assign priorities and prescribe investigative procedures for investigations of complaints based on:

(1)  the severity of the conduct alleged in the complaint; [and]

(2)  the degree of harm to public health, safety, or property;

(3)  the history of previous violations of this chapter by the person who is the subject of the complaint; and

(4)  any other indication of increased risk to public health, safety, or property, as determined by the board.

 

 

SECTION 7.  Section 1301.303(e), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(e)  The board by rule shall assign priorities and prescribe investigative procedures for investigations of complaints based on:

(1)  the severity of the conduct alleged in the complaint; [and]

(2)  the degree of harm to public health, safety, or property;

(3)  the history of previous violations of this chapter by the person who is the subject of the complaint; and

(4)  any other indication of increased risk to public health, safety, or property, as determined by the board.

 

SECTION 11.  Section 1301.304(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)  The board [enforcement committee] or an employee designated by the board [enforcement committee] may investigate an alleged violation of this chapter or a board rule [that is reported to the board].

 

 

 

SECTION 12.  Subchapter F, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.305 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.305.  PUBLIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION RELATING TO DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS.  (a)  The board shall make available to the public through a toll-free telephone number, Internet website, or other easily accessible medium determined by the board the following information relating to a disciplinary action taken regarding a person regulated under this chapter:

(1)  the identity of the person;

(2)  the nature of the complaint that was the basis of the disciplinary action; and

(3)  the disciplinary action taken by the board.

(b)  The board may not include the name of the person who filed the complaint in the information made available under Subsection (a).

(c)  The board shall present the information made available under Subsection (a) in an impartial manner using commonly understood language.

(d)  The board shall regularly update the information made available under this section.

 

 

SECTION 8.  Subchapter F, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.305 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.305.  PUBLIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION RELATING TO DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS.  (a)  The board shall make available to the public through a toll-free telephone number, Internet website, or other easily accessible medium determined by the board the following information relating to a disciplinary action taken regarding a person regulated under this chapter:

(1)  the identity of the person;

(2)  the nature of the complaint that was the basis of the disciplinary action; and

(3)  the disciplinary action taken by the board.

(b)  The board may not include the name of the person who filed the complaint in the information made available under Subsection (a).

(c)  The board shall present the information made available under Subsection (a) in an impartial manner using commonly understood language.

(d)  The board shall regularly update the information made available under this section.

 

SECTION 11.  Sections 1301.351(a), (a-1), and (c), Occupations Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a)  A person[, other than a responsible master plumber,] may not perform or offer to perform [engage in] plumbing for compensation unless:

(1)  the person holds:

(A)  a plumbing contractor license; and

(B)  the proper license, endorsement, or certificate of registration[, or endorsement] required by this chapter to perform or supervise the performance of plumbing; [and]

(2)  the person:

(A)  is employed by a plumbing contractor;

(B)  performs or supervises the plumbing in the scope of that employment; and

(C)  holds the proper license, endorsement, or certificate of registration required by this chapter; or

(3)  the person offers to perform plumbing and contracts with a plumbing contractor for the performance of the plumbing [the person's work is supervised and controlled by a person licensed under this chapter].

(a-1)  A person may not act as a plumbing contractor [responsible master plumber] unless the person holds the appropriate license and meets the applicable requirements [for a responsible master plumber] under this chapter.

(c)  A plumbing contractor [license holder] who is supervising and controlling [under Subsection (a)(2)] the work of a person engaged in the business of plumbing in the construction of a new one-family or two-family dwelling in an unincorporated area of the state must have training and management responsibility for, and shall review and inspect, the person's work.  The plumbing contractor [license holder] is not required to provide continuous or uninterrupted on-the-job oversight of the person's work.

 

 

SECTION 13.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.3515 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3515.  CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION FOR LICENSE ISSUANCE.  (a)  The board shall require that an applicant for a license submit a complete and legible set of fingerprints, on a form prescribed by the board, to the board or to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information from the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(b)  The board may not issue a license to a person who does not comply with the requirement of Subsection (a).

(c)  The board shall conduct a criminal history record information check of each applicant for a license using information:

(1)  provided by the individual under this section; and

(2)  made available to the department by the Department of Public Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any other criminal justice agency under Chapter 411, Government Code.

(d)  The board may:

(1)  enter into an agreement with the Department of Public Safety to administer a criminal history record information check required under this section; and

(2)  authorize the Department of Public Safety to collect from each applicant the costs incurred by the Department of Public Safety in conducting the criminal history record information check.

 

SECTION 12.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.3515 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3515.  CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION FOR LICENSE ISSUANCE.  (a)  The board shall require that an applicant for a license submit a complete and legible set of fingerprints, on a form prescribed by the board, to the board or to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information from the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(b)  The board may not issue a license to a person who does not comply with the requirement of Subsection (a).

(c)  The board shall conduct a criminal history record information check of each applicant for a license using information:

(1)  provided by the individual under this section; and

(2)  made available to the board by the Department of Public Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any other criminal justice agency under Chapter 411, Government Code.

(d)  The board may:

(1)  enter into an agreement with the Department of Public Safety to administer a criminal history record information check required under this section; and

(2)  authorize the Department of Public Safety to collect from each applicant the costs incurred by the Department of Public Safety in conducting the criminal history record information check.

 

SECTION 9.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.3515 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3515.  CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION FOR LICENSE ISSUANCE.  (a)  The board shall require that an applicant for a license submit a complete and legible set of fingerprints, on a form prescribed by the board, to the board or to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information from the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(b)  The board may not issue a license to a person who does not comply with the requirement of Subsection (a).

(c)  The board shall conduct a criminal history record information check of each applicant for a license using information:

(1)  provided by the individual under this section; and

(2)  made available to the department by the Department of Public Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any other criminal justice agency under Chapter 411, Government Code.

(d)  The board may:

(1)  enter into an agreement with the Department of Public Safety to administer a criminal history record information check required under this section; and

(2)  authorize the Department of Public Safety to collect from each applicant the costs incurred by the Department of Public Safety in conducting the criminal history record information check.

 

SECTION 14.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.3542 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3542.  CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR TRADESMAN PLUMBER-LIMITED LICENSE; INSTRUCTORS.  (a)  Notwithstanding Section 1301.354, a person who successfully completes a coherent sequence of courses in the plumbing trade that are offered through a career and technology education program may apply for and take an examination for a license as a tradesman plumber-limited license holder.  The board may not require the person to register as a plumber's apprentice, pay any fee, or comply with Section 1301.354 or any other requirement of this chapter that applies to a person's eligibility to apply for and take the examination.

(b)  A student of any age enrolled in a high school or institution of higher education is eligible to take the sequence of courses described by Subsection (a) without registering as a plumber's apprentice, paying any registration fee to the board, or complying with Section 1301.354 or any other requirement of this chapter that applies to enrolling or participating in those courses.

(c)  If an applicant described by Subsection (a) successfully passes the examination for a license as a tradesman plumber-limited license holder, the board shall issue the applicant the license.

(d)  The board shall develop the courses described by Subsection (a).  If the courses are to be offered at a high school, the courses must be approved by the State Board of Education.

(e)  The courses must include an appropriate number of hours of classroom instruction and a practical component.  The board may credit on-the-job training toward meeting the requirements under the practical component.

(f)  A person may not provide instruction in a career and technology education program described by this section unless the person is licensed under this chapter as a master plumber, journeyman plumber, or plumbing inspector.

(g)  A person described by Subsection (f) may provide the instruction in a full-time or part-time capacity as an employee, contractor, or volunteer of a high school or institution of higher education.

(h)  The board may adopt rules necessary to implement this section, including procedures to verify a student's successful completion of the sequence of courses described by Subsection (a).

(i)  In this section:

(1)  "Career and technology education program" means a career and technology education program under Subchapter F, Chapter 29, Education Code, or similar program offered by an institution of higher education.

(2)  "Institution of higher education" means an institution of higher education or a private or independent institution of higher education as those terms are defined by Section 61.003, Education Code.

 

SECTION 13.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.3542 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3542.  CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR TRADESMAN PLUMBER-LIMITED LICENSE; INSTRUCTORS.  (a)  The board may credit an applicant who submits an application under Section 1301.354(b) with a number of hours determined by board rule against the number of hours of work experience required to take an examination under that section, if the applicant successfully completes a coherent sequence of courses in the plumbing trade that are offered through a career and technology education program in accordance with Subchapter F, Chapter 29, Education Code.

(b)  A student of any age enrolled in a high school is eligible to take the sequence of courses described by Subsection (a) without registering as a plumber's apprentice or paying any registration fee.  A person who is no longer enrolled in a high school shall comply with the requirements of this chapter related to the person's eligibility to apply for and take an examination for a license issued under this chapter, including any registration or fee requirements.

(c)  The board shall develop the courses described by Subsection (a).  The courses must be approved by the State Board of Education.

(d)  The courses must include an appropriate number of hours of classroom instruction and a practical component.  The board may credit on-the-job training toward meeting the requirements under the practical component.

(e)  A person may not provide instruction in a career and technology education program described by this section unless the person is licensed under this chapter as a master plumber, journeyman plumber, or plumbing inspector.

(f)  A person described by Subsection (e) may provide the instruction in a full-time or part-time capacity as an employee, contractor, or volunteer of a high school.

(g)  The board may adopt rules necessary to implement this section, including procedures to verify a student's successful completion of the sequence of courses described by Subsection (a).

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 14.  Section 1301.3575, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3575.  REGISTRATION OF PLUMBER'S APPRENTICES [CERTAIN PERSONS].  The board shall register a person who complies with this chapter as a [drain cleaner, drain cleaner-restricted registrant, residential utilities installer, or] plumber's apprentice.

 

 

SECTION 15.  Section 1301.3576, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3576.  CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE [AND TRAINING] FOR RESPONSIBLE MASTER PLUMBER.  Before a master plumber works as a responsible master plumber, the master plumber must[:

[(1)]  provide the board with a certificate of insurance that meets the requirements of Section 1301.552[; and

[(2)  present evidence satisfactory to the board of successful completion of a training program approved or administered by the board regarding the laws and rules applicable to the operation of a plumbing business in this state].

 

SECTION 15.  Section 1301.3576, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3576.  CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE [AND TRAINING] FOR PLUMBING CONTRACTOR [RESPONSIBLE MASTER PLUMBER].  Before a plumbing contractor offers or performs plumbing [master plumber works as a responsible master plumber], the plumbing contractor [master plumber] must[:

[(1)]  provide the board with a certificate of insurance that meets the requirements of Section 1301.552[; and

[(2)  present evidence satisfactory to the board of successful completion of a training program approved or administered by the board regarding the laws and rules applicable to the operation of a plumbing business in this state].

 

SECTION 10.  Section 1301.3576, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3576.  CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE [AND TRAINING] FOR RESPONSIBLE MASTER PLUMBER.  Before a master plumber works as a responsible master plumber, the master plumber must[:

[(1)]  provide the board with a certificate of insurance that meets the requirements of Section 1301.552[; and

[(2)  present evidence satisfactory to the board of successful completion of a training program approved or administered by the board regarding the laws and rules applicable to the operation of a plumbing business in this state].

 

SECTION 16.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.3581 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3581.  RECIPROCITY.  (a)  The board may waive any prerequisite to obtaining a license, registration, or endorsement issued under this chapter for an applicant who holds a similar license, registration, or endorsement issued by another jurisdiction that has licensing requirements substantially equivalent to those of this state.

(b)  The board may make an agreement, subject to the approval of the governor, with another state to allow for licensing by reciprocity if the other state has requirements for a license, registration, or endorsement substantially equivalent to those of this state.

(c)  An applicant under this section must:

(1)  apply in the same manner and form as any other applicant under this chapter; and

(2)  provide the board with documents and other evidence that substantiate the applicant's qualifications.

(d)  An applicant for a license, registration, or endorsement issued under this section may not be required to undergo an examination to obtain the license, registration, or endorsement if the applicant has held an equivalent license, registration, or endorsement in another jurisdiction for at least two years. The board may adopt rules for determining whether a license, registration, or endorsement issued by another jurisdiction is equivalent to a license, registration, or endorsement issued under this chapter.

 

SECTION 16.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Sections 1301.3581 and 1301.360 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.3581.  RECIPROCITY.  (a)  The board may issue a license, endorsement, or certificate of registration under this chapter for an applicant who holds a similar license, endorsement, or certificate issued by another jurisdiction.

(b)  An applicant under this section must:

(1)  apply in the same manner and form as any other applicant under this chapter; and

(2)  provide the board with documents and other evidence that substantiate the applicant's qualifications.

(c)  An applicant for a license, endorsement, or certificate of registration issued under this section may not be required to undergo an examination to obtain the license, endorsement, or certificate if the applicant has held an equivalent license, endorsement, or certificate in another jurisdiction for at least two years.  The board may determine whether a license, endorsement, or certificate issued by another jurisdiction is equivalent to a license, endorsement, or certificate issued under this chapter.

Sec. 1301.360.  TEMPORARY LICENSE.  (a)  The board by rule may provide for the issuance of a temporary license, endorsement, or certificate of registration to an applicant who:

(1)  submits an application on a form prescribed by the board;

(2)  meets preliminary qualifications established by board rule; and

(3)  pays any required fees.

(b)  A temporary license holder is subject to this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter.

 

SECTION 11.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.360 to read as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sec. 1301.360.  TEMPORARY LICENSE.  (a)  The board by rule may provide for the issuance of a temporary license to an applicant who:

(1)  submits to the board an application on a form prescribed by the board;

(2)  meets preliminary qualifications established by board rule; and

(3)  pays a fee set by the board.

 

(b)  A temporary license issued under this section expires on the 30th day after the date of issuance and may not be renewed.

(c)  A temporary license holder is subject to:

(1)  this chapter;

(2)  any law applicable to the activity for which the license is required, including municipal rules, orders, or ordinances; and

(3)  any rule of the board applicable to the license.

 

SECTION 17.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.360 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.360.  TEMPORARY LICENSE.  (a)  The board by rule may provide for the issuance of a temporary license to an applicant who:

(1)  submits to the board an application on a form prescribed by the board;

(2)  meets preliminary qualifications established by board rule; and

(3)  pays a fee set by the board.

(b)  A temporary license issued under this section expires on the 30th day after the date of issuance and may not be renewed.

(c)  A temporary license holder is subject to:

(1)  this chapter;

(2)  any law applicable to the activity for which the license is required, including municipal rules, orders, or ordinances; and

(3)  any rule of the board applicable to the license.

 

 

 

SECTION 18.  Section 1301.401, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.401.  ANNUAL RENEWAL REQUIRED; EXCEPTION.  (a)  A license, [or] registration, or endorsement under this chapter is valid for one year.  Except as provided by Subsection (d), on [On] payment of the required fee, a license, registration, or endorsement may be renewed annually.

(b)  The board by rule may adopt a system under which licenses, endorsements, and registrations expire on various dates during the year.

(c)  An endorsement issued under Section 1301.356, 1301.3565, or 1301.357 expires on the date the master plumber or journeyman plumber license of the endorsement holder expires.  The board shall adopt rules to provide for the license holder to renew the endorsement in the same transaction as the license if the license holder:

(1)  has completed any continuing education requirement established by rule and applicable to the endorsement; and

(2)  complies with other requirements prescribed by board rule.

(d)  A person who is employed by, under contract with, or engaged as a volunteer by a school or institution of higher education to provide instruction in a career and technology education program described by Section 1301.3542 and provides meaningful course instruction in the program, as determined under rules adopted under Section 1301.407, is not required to pay a fee to renew the person's license.

 

SECTION 17.  Section 1301.401, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 1301.401.  [ANNUAL] RENEWAL REQUIRED.  (a)  A license or certificate of registration under this chapter is valid for one or two years as determined by board rule [year].  On payment of the required fee, a license may be renewed [annually].

(b)  The board by rule shall establish the requirements for renewing a license, endorsement, or certificate of registration under this chapter and may adopt a system under which licenses, endorsements, and certificates of registration [registrations] expire on various dates during the year.

(c)  An endorsement issued under Section 1301.356, 1301.3565, or 1301.357 expires on the date the master plumber or journeyman plumber license of the endorsement holder expires.  Any continuing education requirement established by rule and applicable to an endorsement issued under this chapter must be completed before the endorsement holder may renew the endorsement.

 

SECTION 12.  Section 1301.401, Occupations Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.401.  ANNUAL RENEWAL REQUIRED.  (a)  A license, [or] registration, or endorsement under this chapter is valid for one year.  On payment of the required fee, a license, registration, or endorsement may be renewed annually.

 

 

 

 

 

(c)  An endorsement issued under Section 1301.356, 1301.3565, or 1301.357 expires on the date the master plumber or journeyman plumber license of the endorsement holder expires.  The board shall adopt rules to provide for the license holder to renew the endorsement in the same transaction as the license if the license holder:

(1)  has completed any continuing education requirement established by rule and applicable to the endorsement; and

(2)  complies with other requirements prescribed by board rule.

 

SECTION 19.  Section 1301.404, Occupations Code, is amended by amending Subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) and adding Subsection (g) to read as follows:

(a)  The board by rule shall establish:

(1)  minimum curriculum standards for [recognize, approve, and administer] continuing education programs and courses for persons who hold a license [licenses] or endorsement issued [endorsements] under this chapter; and

(2)  minimum qualifications for an instructor of the continuing education programs and courses described by Subdivision (1).

(b)  A person who holds a license or endorsement under this chapter must complete at least six hours of continuing professional education annually [each year the person holds the license or endorsement] to renew the person's license or endorsement. Three of the six hours must be in the subjects of health protection, energy conservation, and water conservation.

(c)  The executive director shall approve:

(1)  a program or course that meets the minimum curriculum standards established by the board under Subsection (a); and

(2)  an instructor who meets the minimum qualifications established by the board under Subsection (a) [board by rule shall adopt the criteria for the continuing professional education].

(d)  A person may receive credit for participating in a continuing professional education program or course only if the program or course is approved by the executive director [provided:

[(1)  by an individual, business, or association approved by the board; and

[(2)  according to criteria adopted by the board].

(e)  A person may complete the continuing professional education requirement of this section through a correspondence course as approved by the executive director [board].

(g)  A person who is employed by, under contract with, or engaged as a volunteer by a school or institution of higher education to provide instruction in a career and technology education program described by Section 1301.3542 and provides meaningful course instruction in the program, as determined under rules adopted under Section 1301.407, may renew the person's license and any endorsement without complying with Subsection (b) if the person completes the hours of continuing professional education required by that subsection every three years.

SECTION 18.  Sections 1301.404(a), (c), and (d), Occupations Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a)  The board by rule shall establish:

(1)  minimum curriculum standards for [recognize, approve, and administer] continuing education programs and courses for persons who hold a license [licenses] or endorsement issued [endorsements] under this chapter; and

(2)  minimum qualifications for an instructor of the continuing education programs and courses described by Subdivision (1).

 

 

 

 

 

 

(c)  The board shall approve:

(1)  a program or course that meets the minimum curriculum standards established by the board under Subsection (a); and

(2)  an instructor who meets the minimum qualifications established by the board under Subsection (a) [by rule shall adopt the criteria for the continuing professional education].

(d)  A person may receive credit for participating in a continuing professional education program or course only if the program or course is approved by the [provided:

[(1)  by an individual, business, or association approved by the board; and

[(2)  according to criteria adopted by the] board.

 

      SECTION 13.  Sections 1301.404(a), (b), (c), (d), and (e), Occupations Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a)  The board by rule shall establish:

(1)  minimum curriculum standards for [recognize, approve, and administer] continuing education programs and courses for persons who hold a license [licenses] or endorsement issued [endorsements] under this chapter; and

(2)  minimum qualifications for an instructor of the continuing education programs and courses described by Subdivision (1).

(b)  A person who holds a license or endorsement under this chapter must complete at least six hours of continuing professional education annually [each year the person holds the license or endorsement] to renew the person's license or endorsement. Three of the six hours must be in the subjects of health protection, energy conservation, and water conservation.

(c)  The executive director shall approve:

(1)  a program or course that meets the minimum curriculum standards established by the board under Subsection (a); and

(2)  an instructor who meets the minimum qualifications established by the board under Subsection (a) [board by rule shall adopt the criteria for the continuing professional education].

(d)  A person may receive credit for participating in a continuing professional education program or course only if the program or course is approved by the executive director [provided:

[(1)  by an individual, business, or association approved by the board; and

[(2)  according to criteria adopted by the board].

(e)  A person may complete the continuing professional education requirement of this section through a correspondence course as approved by the executive director [board].

 

SECTION 20.  Section 1301.405, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Subsections (a-1) and (a-2) and amending Subsection (b) to read as follows:

(a-1)  The board by rule shall establish:

(1)  minimum curriculum standards for a training program described by Subsection (a) for persons who hold a registration under this chapter; and

(2)  minimum qualifications for an instructor of the training program.

(a-2)  The executive director shall approve:

(1)  a training program that meets the minimum curriculum standards established by the board under Subsection (a-1); and

(2)  an instructor who meets the minimum qualifications established by the board under Subsection (a-1).

(b)  A person may receive credit for participating in a training program only if the program is [provided:

[(1)  by a person] approved by the executive director [board; and

[(2)  according to criteria adopted by the board].

 

SECTION 19.  Section 1301.405, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sec. 1301.405.  [MANDATORY] TRAINING FOR PLUMBER'S APPRENTICE [DRAIN CLEANER, DRAIN CLEANER-RESTRICTED REGISTRANT, AND RESIDENTIAL UTILITIES INSTALLER].  The board by rule may establish continuing education requirements for persons [(a)  To renew the certificate of registration, a person] who hold [holds] a certificate of registration under this chapter as a plumber's apprentice [drain cleaner, drain cleaner-restricted registrant, or residential utilities installer must annually complete at least six hours of approved training that includes training in health and safety requirements, board-approved plumbing codes, and water conservation].

[(b)  A person may receive credit for participating in a training program only if the program is provided:

[(1)  by a person approved by the board; and

[(2)  according to criteria adopted by the board.

[(c)  The board by rule may exempt certain persons from the requirements of this section if the board determines that the exemption is in the public interest.]

 

SECTION 14.  Section 1301.405, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Subsections (a-1) and (a-2) and amending Subsection (b) to read as follows:

(a-1)  The board by rule shall establish:

(1)  minimum curriculum standards for a training program described by Subsection (a) for persons who hold a registration under this chapter; and

(2)  minimum qualifications for an instructor of the training program.

(a-2)  The executive director shall approve:

(1)  a training program that meets the minimum curriculum standards established by the board under Subsection (a-1); and

(2)  an instructor who meets the minimum qualifications established by the board under Subsection (a-1).

(b)  A person may receive credit for participating in a training program only if the program is [provided:

[(1)  by a person] approved by the executive director [board; and

[(2)  according to criteria adopted by the board].

 

SECTION 21.  Subchapter H, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.4055 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.4055.  PERIOD FOR COMPLETING CONTINUING EDUCATION.  The board shall adopt rules to ensure that each holder of a license, registration, or endorsement has at least 12 months to complete any continuing education required for the renewal of the license, registration, or endorsement.

 

 

SECTION 15.  Subchapter H, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.4055 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.4055.  PERIOD FOR COMPLETING CONTINUING EDUCATION.  The board shall adopt rules to ensure that each holder of a license, registration, or endorsement has at least 12 months to complete any continuing education required for the renewal of the license, registration, or endorsement.

 

SECTION 22.  Subchapter H, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1301.407 to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.407.  PROCEDURES FOR VERIFYING CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS.  The board, in consultation with the State Board of Education and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, as appropriate, may adopt rules as necessary to verify whether a person qualifies for an exemption from the required renewal fee, as described by Section 1301.401(c), or an exemption from required continuing professional education, as described by Section 1301.404(g), including rules providing for obtaining and evaluating written verification from the applicable school or institution of higher education of the person's provision of meaningful course instruction in a career and technology education program described by Section 1301.3542.

 

 

 

SECTION 20.  The heading to Subchapter I, Chapter 1301, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

SUBCHAPTER I.  DISCIPLINARY ACTION [PROCEDURES]

 

SECTION 23.  Section 1301.452(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)    A person is subject to disciplinary action under Section 1301.451 if the person violates this chapter, an order issued by the board, or a board rule.  A violation of this chapter includes:

 

(1)  attempting to obtain or obtaining a license, endorsement, or registration through [error or] fraud;

(2)  wilfully, negligently, or arbitrarily violating a municipal rule or ordinance that regulates sanitation, drainage, or plumbing;

(3)  making a misrepresentation of services provided or to be provided;

(4)  making a false promise with the intent to induce a person to contract for a service; [or]

(5)  employing a person who does not hold a license or endorsement or who is not registered to engage in an activity for which a license, endorsement, or registration is required under this chapter;

(6)  performing plumbing without holding the proper license, endorsement, or registration required by this chapter; or

(7)  performing plumbing in violation of a plumbing code adopted under Section 1301.255.

SECTION 21.  Section 1301.452, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.452.  GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION.  [(a)]  A person is subject to disciplinary action under Section 1301.451 if the person violates this chapter, an order issued by the board, or a board rule.  A violation of this chapter includes:

 

(1)  attempting to obtain or obtaining a license, endorsement, or registration through [error or] fraud;

(2)  wilfully, negligently, or arbitrarily violating a municipal rule or ordinance that regulates sanitation, drainage, or plumbing;

(3)  making a misrepresentation of services provided or to be provided;

(4)  making a false promise with the intent to induce a person to contract for a service; [or]

(5)  employing a person who does not hold a license or endorsement or who is not registered to engage in an activity for which a license, endorsement, or certificate of registration is required under this chapter;

(6)  performing plumbing without holding the proper license, endorsement, or certificate of registration required by this chapter;

 

(7)  offering to perform or performing plumbing for compensation without:

(A)  holding a plumbing contractor license;

(B)  being employed by a plumbing contractor and acting in the scope of that employment; or

(C)  contracting with a plumbing contractor to perform the offered plumbing;

(8)  performing plumbing in violation of a plumbing code adopted under Section 1301.255; or

(9)  failing to supervise plumbing as required by this chapter or board rule.

[(b)  Retesting procedures may be used to determine whether grounds exist for suspension or revocation of a license, endorsement, or registration due to incompetence or a wilful violation by a person licensed under this chapter.]

 

SECTION 16.  Section 1301.452(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)    A person is subject to disciplinary action under Section 1301.451 if the person violates this chapter, an order issued by the board, or a board rule.  A violation of this chapter includes:

 

(1)  attempting to obtain or obtaining a license, endorsement, or registration through [error or] fraud;

(2)  wilfully, negligently, or arbitrarily violating a municipal rule or ordinance that regulates sanitation, drainage, or plumbing;

(3)  making a misrepresentation of services provided or to be provided;

(4)  making a false promise with the intent to induce a person to contract for a service; [or]

(5)  employing a person who does not hold a license or endorsement or who is not registered to engage in an activity for which a license, endorsement, or registration is required under this chapter;

(6)  performing plumbing without holding the proper license, endorsement, or registration required by this chapter; or

 

 

         (7)  performing plumbing in violation of a plumbing code adopted under Section 1301.255

SECTION 24.  Section 1301.502(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)  A [field representative,] water district plumbing inspector[,] or, within the jurisdiction of the municipality, municipal plumbing inspector may issue a citation to a person who engages in conduct described by Section 1301.508.

 

SECTION 22.  Section 1301.502(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)  A [field representative,] water district plumbing inspector[,] or, within the jurisdiction of the municipality, municipal plumbing inspector may issue a citation to a person who engages in conduct described by Section 1301.508.

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 23.  Section 1301.551(g), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(g)  A [responsible master plumber,] plumbing contractor[,] or other person who is required to obtain a permit under this section is not required to pay a plumbing registration fee or administrative fee in a municipality or any other political subdivision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 24.  Section 1301.552, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.552.  CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FOR PLUMBING PERMIT IN POLITICAL SUBDIVISION.  A political subdivision that requires a plumbing contractor [responsible master plumber] or an agent of a plumbing contractor [responsible master plumber] to obtain a permit before performing plumbing in the political subdivision shall verify through the board's Internet website, or by contacting the board by telephone, that the plumbing contractor [responsible master plumber] has on file with the board a certificate of insurance.  The certificate of insurance must:

(1)  be written by an insurer authorized to engage in the business of insurance in this state or an eligible surplus lines insurer under Chapter 981[, as defined by Section 981.002], Insurance Code;

(2)  provide for commercial general liability insurance for the plumbing contractor [responsible master plumber] for a claim for property damage or bodily injury, regardless of whether the claim arises from negligence or on a contract; and

(3)  provide coverage of not less than $300,000 for all claims arising in a one-year period.

 

SECTION 25.  Section 1301.5071, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Subsection (a-1) to read as follows:

(a-1)  The procedures established under Subsection (a) must:

(1)  identify the types of complaints for which an informal settlement conference may be used; and

(2)  require appropriate documentation of each informal settlement conference that is conducted, including the outcome of the conference.

 

 

 

SECTION 26.  The heading to Section 1301.703, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1301.703.  [REPORT AND] NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PENALTY

 

 

SECTION 27.  Sections 1301.703(a) and (b), Occupations Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a)  If the board [enforcement committee] determines that a violation occurred, the board [enforcement committee may issue to the board a report stating:

[(1)  the facts on which the determination is based; and

[(2)  the committee's recommendation on the imposition of the penalty, including a recommendation on the amount of the penalty.

[(b)  Not later than the 14th day after the date the report is issued, the enforcement committee] shall give written notice of the violation [report] to the person alleged to have committed the violation.

 

 

 

SECTION 28.  Sections 1301.704(a) and (b), Occupations Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a)  Not later than the 20th day after the date the person receives the notice, the person in writing may:

(1)  accept the determination and recommended penalty of the board [enforcement committee]; or

(2)  make a request for a hearing on the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both.

(b)  If the person accepts the determination and recommended penalty of the board [enforcement committee], the board by order shall approve the determination and impose the recommended penalty.

 

 

 

SECTION 29.  Section 1301.705(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a)  If the person requests a hearing, the board [enforcement committee] shall set a hearing and give written notice of the hearing to the person.  An administrative law judge of the State Office of Administrative Hearings shall hold the hearing.

 

 

 

SECTION 30.  Sections 1301.708(a) and (b), Occupations Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a)  Within the 30-day period prescribed by Section 1301.707, a person who files a petition for judicial review may:

(1)  stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A)  paying the penalty to the court for placement in an escrow account; or

(B)  giving the court a supersedeas bond approved by the court that:

(i)  is for the amount of the penalty; and

(ii)  is effective until all judicial review of the board's order is final; or

(2)  request the court to stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A)  filing with the court a sworn affidavit of the person stating that the person is financially unable to pay the penalty and is financially unable to give the supersedeas bond; and

(B)  sending a copy of the affidavit to the board [enforcement committee] by certified mail.

(b)  If the board [enforcement committee] receives a copy of an affidavit under Subsection (a)(2), the executive director may file with the court, not later than the fifth day after the date the copy is received, a contest to the affidavit.