Why House Bill 326 which establishes a statewide mechanical license is bad for our industry.

House Bill 326 which establishes a statewide mechanical license while eliminating the need for individual and/or jurisdictional licenses has passed the House and has been sent to the Senate where it will be heard in committee on May 1, 2019. The Plumbing Industry Council is asking all members to reach out to their Senators and request they vote "no" on House Bill 326. Listed below is a link to the legislator lookup for the Missouri Senate. in addition, following is the document that can be used when contacting your Senator. Please contact your Senator as quickly as possible as we don't want to lose the "individual" journeyman mechanical license. The "individual" journeyman plumbing license WILL be next!

Legislator Lookup

Sample Letter to Send your Senator

Dear Senator:

I am writing to you requesting that you vote “no” on HB #326, which is legislation that seeks to establish a statewide mechanical contractor license in the state of Missouri.  The proposed licensing structure eliminates both individual and apprentice licensing, which are fundamental to the mechanical trade and the safety and well-being of Missourians.

Individual licensure ensures tradespeople have received adequate and approved training by establishing requirements for obtaining and maintaining licensure; typically, five years of classroom education, in addition to five years of on-the-job apprenticeship training, to be eligible for licensing examination and continuing education credits to maintain active licensure. This process ensures licensed individuals understand and deliver mechanical installations, repairs, and maintenance to all applicable codes and standards, and that their knowledge in these areas is current. In contrast, a transition to contractor licensing, as proposed in HB #326, only provides that one individual in an organization, regardless of size or complexity, has demonstrated adequate skill, knowledge, and experience in the mechanical trade, which jeopardizes the health and safety of the citizens of Missouri.

Apprentice licensing is an essential process to developing the next generation of highly-skilled, qualified, and capable tradespeople. Apprenticeship reduces turnover, increases productivity, reduces recruitment costs, and lowers the barriers of entry into the mechanical trade; established requirements for apprenticeship via licensure provide a clear avenue for adequate development within the field in the same way an accredited curriculum does in higher learning.  Apprenticeship, as proposed in HB #326, does not provide nor maintain this avenue.

Aside from logistical and economic implications, there are safety and environmental implications to Missourians. Improper and inadequate mechanical installations, especially the HB #326 proposed non-mechanical work, present multiple risks for consumers, including flooding, gas leaks, and carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, “green” initiatives place greater demand for high-efficiency mechanical installations, including HVAC and requisite ductwork and flues, which, by their advanced and rapidly-changing nature, place an even greater need for education of sheet metal tradespeople also encompassed by HB #326.

Mechanical installations are not standalone systems, they are an integrated component of an engineered package, the minimum requirements and performance of which are established by codes, and it is requisite that the tradesperson is knowledgeable in all areas – component, installation, and code.  Individual licensure ensures that any licensed tradesperson performing mechanical work has met a standard for knowledge and skill in these critical topics.

In consideration of the above, I urge you to vote no on HB #326.

{Company Name} is willing to work with the legislature to pass a statewide license for contractors and individuals that protects the citizens of the state of Missouri. {Company Name, Address, City, State, Zip Code employs # of employees who work in the (put location)}.

 

I appreciate your time and consideration.